At just 17 years old, Billie Eilish has released Spotify’s most listened to album of the year, becoming the first female artist to ever claim the title. The California-based singer/songwriter amassed a walloping 6 billion streams for the year, and if her recent audio exposé “Everything I Wanted” is any indication, it seems like Eilish’s artistic discovery may be just beginning.
Spotify’s Most-Streamed Artist of 2019, however, goes to the universally adorned Post Malone, who leapfrogged his way to the head of the pack in the 12 weeks since the release of Hollywood’s Bleeding, the genre-bending vocalist’s third consecutive LP to seem destined for the upper echelon of critical acclaim. Streaming royalty Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran take the third and fourth spots of most-streamed artists for the year (with Eilish nabbing second).
Drake has had a light year in terms of releases, but it’s still strange not to see the crowned King of The Stream making any of the yearly lists. Fear not though, as the Canadian rapper wears his crown comfortably atop the Decade’s Most Streamed Artists, below.
Spotify has announced that on March 5th, 2020, they will host the first annual Spotify Awards in Mexico City. According to the streaming giant, the show’s categories, nominees, and winners will be decided entirely based on user streaming data to “provide a true reflection of what fans are listening to.”
Coming fresh off the heels of the Grammy Award nominations, it seems Spotify is looking to capitalize on sentiments from some music fans that the Grammys may be a bit out of touch in the streaming era. Spotify’s news release regarding the announcement states, “you can get excited for an awards ceremony that actually speaks to what the people are streaming.” Since the Grammy’s peak viewership of 39 million in 2012, viewership has consistently trended downwards. According to Statista, last year only 17.95 million tuned in, not even half of 2012’s mark.
On Monday, Amazon launched a free ad-supported version of their music streaming service across platforms. Users of the program will have access to playlists and artist-based radio stations, but will be unable to playback specific songs or download content for offline listening, according to Variety.
The new addition of a free service complements their paid program, which offers unlimited playback of user-chosen songs. The move into free ad-supported streaming will directly compete with Spotify‘s free platform. After Amazon’s announcement, Spotify’s stock closed the day nearly 5 percent down, according to Variety.
According to the most recent report from Statista (March, 2018) Apple Music and Spotify are the leaders in American monthly users, with 49.5 and 47.7 million respectively. Amazon Music sat at a comparably meager 12.7 million monthly users, losing out to the likes of iHeartRadio,Google Play Music, SoundCloud and Pandora Radio.
Music streaming usage has rapidly been on the rise for the better part of the decade. According to Statista, user penetration in the US is expected to rise 39.2% to 41.5% by 2023, while revenue is expected to grow 3.3% each year during the same time period. While an increasing number of players enter the streaming space, it will be interesting to follow who comes out on top and if Amazon will be able to pull users away from other more established platforms.
Spotify‘s net of paid subscribers now covers 113 million listeners and 248 million total active monthly users as of Sept. 30, according to numbers newly released in a letter to stockholders. The third-quarter statistics exceeded both Spotify’s and Wall Street’s projections for premium user gain.
Net subscriber growth exceeded our expectations and was led by strong performance in both Family Plan and Student Plan. All other product offerings were mostly in line with expectations.
Total monthly active users grew 30 percent
The recently reported figures from September’s close are a continuation of the consistent growth Spotify has witnessed since the end of 2018. At the end of June, the platform notably had 108 million premium users and 232 million total active monthly streamers.
At the end of the third quarter, Spotify’s stock of global Premium Subscribers was up 31 percent Y/Y. The platform’s total monthly active user count was meanwhile up by 30 percent. European streamers comprised 35 percent of Spotify’s monthly active users by region during the third quarter. North America was second at 27 percent and Latin America followed with 22 percent.
Spotify is capitalizing on personalized playlists curated for listeners with its latest addition of two new playlists: On Repeat and Repeat Rewind. Like their titles imply, the playlists compile songs that users have replayed the most. On Repeat and Repeat Rewind join a growing list of Spotify’s personalized playlists—a top-selling feature that users love and competitors have replicated in their own models. YouTube Music rolled out its own Discovery Mix playlist on Sept. 21. Similarly, Apple Music has its personalized mix, My New Music Mix, for its users as well.
On Repeat focuses on users’ most-played tracks over the past 30 days and auto-updates with more time spent listening on Spotify. Repeat Rewind does the same, but on songs users loved playing more than a month ago. The two complementary playlists are not genre-specific and do not overlap with each other. Both playlists allow users to revisit their favorite songs over different periods of time and update every five days.
Users can access their unique On Repeat and Repeat Rewind playlists in the “Made for You” or the “Uniquely Yours” section of the Spotify app. Spotify’s other personalized playlists include Discover Weekly, Release Radar, Your Summer Rewind, Your Daily Drive, and more.
Spotify announced on Thursday, September 12, its acquisition of global audio production and collaboration marketplace SoundBetter. The production platform will be integrated under Spotify for Artists, a segment of services that provides more than 400,000 artists and their teams a diversity of tools that supports them with track management, insights, promotion, and more. With the addition of SoundBetter, artists can now utilize the marketplace to help them in the creation process of making new music.
“SoundBetter offers the most comprehensive global marketplace for music and audio production professionals for hire in the world along with a member community spanning 176 countries and 14,000 cities worldwide,” stated SoundBetter co-founder and CEO Shachar Gilad.
Established in 2012, SoundBetter encompasses a community of more than 180,000 producers, singers, songwriters, mixing and mastering engineers, and session musicians. The platform also allows users to post job listings either seeking or offering their own audio professional services.
“As we build out our tools for creators, we want to give them the resources they need to thrive. SoundBetter has the same vision. We’re excited that creators can generate income through SoundBetter, as well as benefit from its network of top professionals—from instrumentalists to songwriters to producers—as they perfect their tracks”, said Spotify’s VP Product and Strategy Beckwith Kloss.
Spotify showed their podcast-centric intentions earlier this year when they acquired Anchor, a leading streaming app for the media format for an estimated $140 million. Soon, users of the Swedish-born streaming service will see these intentions come to fruition as a “create podcast” button was recently uncovered in the Spotify app. The button is expected to allow virtually anyone with a smartphone to record, edit, and publish podcasts straight from the palm of their hand.
The new feature was first spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, who’s earned a reputation by finding incoming features by reverse engineering and exploring popular apps from the backend, including Instagram and Facebook.
Spotify’s admiration of the opportunities in the podcasting world comes as no surprise, as the company itself noted that it’s willing to spend up to $500 million to explore its burgeoning market. The company expects their investment into podcasts will eventually lead to 20 percent of all Spotify streaming being non-music content.
Accomplished producer Tycho is diving into the realm for technology with the launch of a brand new a web application that is the first of its kind. The artist worked with app developer Lee Martin to create Forecast, the web application that designs playlists based on the weather in the users’ location.
The app is simple in its design, inspired by many of Tycho’s single and album cover artworks. As it is simple in design, Forecast is also easy to use. The application locates the user, and within seconds curates a weather-inspired playlist that can be saved either to Spotify or Apple Music. Whether you’re looking to lean into the rainy day blues or you’re reaching for poolside pop, Forecast is ready for action, so give it a try.
When streaming services really started picking up steam, there was a lot of pushback from prominent artists who opposed the dismal royalty rates (Apple Music currently sits at $0.00735 per stream). Radiohead, The Beatles, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, and Tool were just some of the major players who withheld their extensive catalogs from these services, much to the dismay of fans.
However, every one of these artists eventually gave in and made their music available across the streaming spectrum, the most recent of which was Tool. This move comes just ahead of the anticipated release date for Fear Inoculum, Tool’s first album in 13 years which is scheduled to be out on August 30, 2019.
Rumors had been circulating of late that the progressive rock paragons would release their music to streaming services. Mainly because Tool profiles appeared on Apple Music and Spotify in May even though they didn’t feature any music. They did, however, include branded photos and a description blurb that matched the band’s indelible legacy.
Now those rumors have become reality, and the band’s four studio albums can be enjoyed on all major streaming platforms, with the fifth undoubtedly joining them upon release. Hit the links below to get listening.
Apple will reportedly aim to expand its podcast platform by licensing exclusive and original podcasts, to “pursue the kind of deals it didn’t make before,” according to Bloomberg. The financially focused news outlet additionally claimed that Apple executives have already begun to open dialogues with media companies to discuss buying exclusive rights to podcast programming.
Apple’s Podcasts app for iPhone and iPad has been in existence since 2012. To date, Apple has facilitated the platform in a mostly passive manner: although the tech giant has hosted podcasts for years, it has not actively invested in original podcasts or devised plans to roll out its own content via Podcast to any great extent. By contrast, Apple Music competitor, Spotify, pledged up to $500 million to the development of podcasts and even recently struck a multi-year deal with Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground, which will produce podcast content for the Swedish streaming giant. Spotify additionally owns podcasting firms Gimlet Media, Parcast, and Anchor.
Spotify isn’t alone in its effort to expand its podcast content. Not long after it acquired Pandora, SiriusXM instituted the music streaming service’s first-ever content team, which will devote its creative energy to the development of Pandora’s own original podcast material. Moreover, Apple, Spotify, and SiriusXM alike are interested in striking podcast partnerships with prominent artists.
The entities’ commitment to not only broadening their respective platforms’ podcasting content, but to conceptualizing podcasts specific to their own brands is timely, to say the least. The podcast’s rise in popularity reflects in Edison Research’s 2019 Infinite Dial Survey, which found that more than 50 percent of Americans aged 12 or older have listened to a podcast. Edison Research noted that this is the very first time that this figure has ever surpassed the halfway mark. One-third of the United States population—90 million listeners—meanwhile stated that they’d streamed a podcast in the last month, comprising 40 percent of American youths aged 12 to 24.