Spotify’s new tool might prioritise your music in recommendations – if you accept less in royalties

Your music could be pushed in Spotify Radio and Autoplay, but there are no promises

Music-streaming giant Spotify is rolling out a new service that allows artists and labels to potentially influence the platform’s recommendation algorithms. Those who agree to the “promotional recording royalty rate”, as outlined by Spotify in a blog post, can highlight music they deem a priority and have it pushed through to listeners.

Prioritised music will be discoverable by listeners via Spotify Radio and Autoplay. The former is a feature that generates a radio station-like playlist based on a song or artist, while the latter automatically plays related music to a song, EP or album you’ve just finished.

The “promotional recording royalty rate” that labels and artists will have to agree to is essentially a lower royalty payment if music is discovered based on the recommendation. Spotify’s intention here is to provide a means of access to the service to those who do not have an upfront promotional budget. The figures and percentages of this royalty rate are yet to be revealed, probably as this feature is still being dubbed by the brand as a “new experiment”.

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Speaking to MBW, Spotify’s product marketing lead Charleton Lamb said: “our goal and our intention is for artists and labels to be able to earn positive ROI by using the tool”.

Spotify discoveries infographic

Just because you’ve signed up to the new discovery feature doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed plays, however. In the blog post, Spotify says: “If the songs resonate with listeners, we’ll keep trying them in similar sessions. If the songs don’t perform well, they’ll quickly be pulled back. Listener satisfaction is our priority—we won’t guarantee placement to labels or artists, and we only ever recommend music we think listeners will want to hear”.

Spotify is currently the subject of an inquiry by the UK Government that examines the economic impact of music streaming on artists, labels and the industry as a whole. Apple Music, Amazon Music and Google Play are also being examined in this inquiry.

To read the full statement on Spotify’s new discovery feature click here.

For more music tech news click here.

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