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Spotify will Give You More Exposure—If You’re OK with Lower Streaming Rates


Spotify has a new scheme to get you even more exposure. Unfortunately it will come at the expense of lower royalties—and their royalties are already pretty low.

According to Billboard, the app’s new Discover Mode will give artists the chance to come up more for users via Spotify Radio and autoplay if the artists are OK with accepting reduced rates. Since streams already can pay as low as $0.0003 or $0.005, there has been deliberation about just how low these new rates could be.

In the past, Discovery Mode was only available for select artists, and now it’s available to all.

Spotify claims:

“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.”

Some would argue that despite rates being so low, this type of exposure could help artists, as fans can of course then go and purchase music, merch, or concert tickets if they like what they hear. However, statistically speaking, over 100,000 tracks get uploaded daily, so there is a chance that even artists using Discovery Mode won’t be heard.

This isn’t the first time Spotify came under fire for trying to use their Discovery feature as proof that they’re actually trying to help artists. In 2021, U.S. Representatives Jerry Nadler of the 12th District of New York and Hank Johnson Jr. of the 4th District of Georgia wrote a letter to Spotify Founder and CEO Daniel Ek about his concerns.

“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,” the letter says. “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.”

Whether or not this will help artists is still up for debate, but because of the super low rates already in place, we’re not very hopeful.

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