Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

Do you wanna get heard more on Spotify and somehow make even less in royalties than you are right now? Because Spotify is offering exactly that with their new Discovery Mode.

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According to a report by billboard, Spotify’s new Discover Mode offers artists the chance to get in front of more users via Spotify Radio and autoplay at a reduced royalty rate. It’s not clear what the rate is, but given Spotify’s abysmally low pay for regular streams (somewhere around $0.003 to $0.005), it’s hard to imagine an even worse version.

Discovery Mode is available on the Spotify for Artists website for all artists, as opposed to being only available for select artists in the past. According to Spotify themselves, “On average, within a song’s first month of Discovery Mode use, we’ve seen listeners save those songs 50% more often, add them to playlists 44% more, and follow the artist 37% more. Those results have stayed strong as we’ve scaled up the program.”

The problem here is this – there’s a lot of music on Spotify and a very good chunk of it goes mostly unheard. So if every artist starts using the Discover Mode feature, and there’s over 100,000 tracks uploaded daily, what’s the actual chance of this being helpful? Spotify has their statistic above, but that’s with a much smaller sample size that they don’t even define. How much bigger is the pool going to be when everyone has access?

And sure, getting in front of more listeners is great. Maybe we’re being overly-pessimistic about the whole thing and it’ll actually help some artists. My personal guess is that it won’t, but maybe it will. It’s also very difficult to get excited about a reduced rate when inflation is up, the cost of touring is brutal, and making a living as an artist is already hard enough.

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Concerns about Discovery Mode date back to at least 2021, when US Representatives Jerry Needler of the 12thth District of New York and Hank Johnson Jr of the 4thth District of Georgia penned a letter to Spotify Founder and CEO Daniel Ek about the lowered pay rates.

“This may set in motion a ‘race to the bottom’ in which artists and labels feel compelled to accept lower royalties as a necessary way to break through an extremely crowded and competitive music environment,” read a portion of the letter. “Depending on how the program is implemented, there is a further concern that accepting lower rates for this boost in Spotify’s algorithm may not even guarantee more airplay if virtually all commercial artists are also doing the same.”

Oh, and Spotify is also updating their app to be an endless scroll through the homepage with a very TikTok look to it. Just in case you needed some extra bad news.

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By ublvu