Here's what Spotify's newest discovery tool means for bandsPosted on 07/12/12
Today the Swedish streaming service Spotify held an event in New York (and London) to unveil some new developments for the company. As we hinted already yesterday via Twitter, today's event was all about the launch of a discovery platform, complete with the ability to follow influencers and artists.
The development goes hand in hand with the ability for musicians to passively push music directly to their fans, just by releasing new material. When new music from artists followed hits Spotify, users receive a mobile alert. And this is very important. People who have been using Shazam are already used to getting alerts when a new iTunes release was there, but, with Spotify it will be a spotless experience. Something tells us that we'll see the rebirth of the single thanks to this 'push notification'.
Along with the music 'Follow' feature, Spotify also launched 'Instant Preview' which gives you a one-click way to sample an artist you see on the service, and 'Collection' to help you organize the music you dig.
20 million users - 5 million paying subscribers
The new 'Follow', 'Discover', and 'Collection' tabs will be pushed to the desktop app over the next few week, and will arrive on mobile and the new browser version of the service in a cross-platform upgrade next year. It shows that Spotify is working on its own 'music graph'. For users this will mean that there is finally a more easy way to discover new bands (with Spotify adding 10,000 to 20,000 new songs each day, there are a lot of artists fighting for your attention). For bands it will mean that they will be able to more easily stay in touch with people on the service, simply by being there, releasing new music (and creating playlists).
In the margin Spotify also announced it now has 20 million users overall, with 5 million of them paying monthly fees to do it (1 million of them are in the U.S. alone). Nice figures for a services that until recently was written off by tech blogs, artists and certain labels. It also coincides with the figures Side-Line was allowed to look into from various scene labels, who now see a steadily increasing income from the streaming service.
Daniel Ek, the CEO and co-founder: "We’ve paid out over half a billion dollars. In the last nine months, that rate doubled. We're growing in a way that benefits the whole system." Our data shows that Spotify will overtake Amazon MP3 in revenue by early next year if it continues this growth.
"It turned into a street fight"
Another band that finally seems to have realized that the service is revolutionary is Metallica. The band's Lars Ulrich came on stage at Spotify's press event together with Sean Parker (ex-Facebook, ex-Napster) to tell the world that his band is embracing streaming and that all of its music is now available on Spotify. Lars famously raged against Napster and helped get it sued out of existence. But now he’s on stage with Napster founder Sean Parker and they seem to have worked it out. Lars: "We were never against Napster, we just wanted to control things more. The control option had been taking away from us and from there on it turned into a street fight. You wanna fuck with us? Well, we're gonna fuck with you!"
Lars concluded that Spotify lets you share the music you discover with your friends, and "by doing so we know the music industry will get back to where it used to be." And for those artists and labels that still think Spotify is not worth their attention, Parker and co had this final message: "There is a generation growing up with streaming only."
Posted by B. Van Isacker
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