Earlier today, Spotify announced that soon it will be experimenting with a new system which will give artists and labels a boost in algorithm if requested and in exchange, they’ll be paid a “promotional recording royalty rate for streams in personalized listening sessions” where the service was provided. This is to avoid an upfront fee that would be unfair to artists and/or labels that couldn’t afford it. Interestingly, the service says that if the songs don’t perform well, they’ll be pulled back and they also make it clear that placement is never guaranteed.
“In this new experiment, artists and labels can identify music that’s a priority for them, and our system will add that signal to the algorithm that determines personalized listening sessions,” they write. “This allows our algorithms to account for what’s important to the artist—perhaps a song they’re particularly excited about, an album anniversary they’re celebrating, a viral cultural moment they’re experiencing, or other factors they care about.”
At the moment, this will only impact radio and autoplay to the additional streams that take place through the algorithm change. but there could be plans for expansion. If this were to impact playlists, it would get tricky.
It’s a concept that will split artists and listeners down the middle. If everyone takes up the opportunity every time possible, in essence, would Spotify be paying lower fees to everyone with no benefit to the artist? Time will tell how it actually functions.