5 Reasons Why It May Get Harder for New Bands to Get Noticed on Spotify
How can new bands and artists get noticed on Spotify? It's the eternal struggle in this day and age of music streaming as the primary mode of music listening.
And yet, depending on how things go in the future, that struggle could get even more difficult for up-and-coming performers.
Things are ever-changing with technology, of course. And tech companies such as Spotify constantly seek new avenues to keep users' attention.
But what can be done if you're a new artist? And what do you need to know about Spotify's plans for the future of its service?
Did you know that Spotify and other digital service providers, such as Apple Music, already each add around 100,000 songs per day to their platforms? That's a lot.
But do you think that number will grow or dwindle in the future?
The music industry blog Music Business Worldwide recently questioned Spotify's ability to sustain at that rate. And in assessing the data, there are five prime takeaways when looking at the distant horizon of Spotify through the lens of a new artist.
Spotify Is Always Adding More Songs
To reiterate, there's already a glut of music to compete with. Indeed, to the tune of 100,000 songs uploaded daily to Spotify and other DSPs, according to Variety. So it's already an uphill battle for the new artist.
Outgoing Warner Music CEO Stephen Cooper observes, "The complexity of being able to separate one's music from the other 99,999 tracks uploaded that day is incredibly complex [and] incredibly difficult."
So how does a burgeoning band or songwriter get their music some notice?
The Number of Songs Spotify Adds Could Grow Larger
Well, more is more. What if the number of songs got even bigger? It's no stretch to think that the 100,000-per-day figure could be a thing of the past mere months or years from now.
As Music Business Worldwide asks, what happens when 120,000 new tracks appear per day? Or when — possibly encouraged by AI music generation — these numbers grow to 300,000 per day? Or more?
It's a crazy thing to consider right now, but it could very well happen. So if you think of Spotify as a sea of songs right now, just wait until it turns into an endless ocean of music.
Changes Might Focus on Video + Other Content
In the future, the music on Spotify may not even be the main seller. (Hey, video on Spotify is already a thing.) What if the service pivots hard in that direction?
After all, creating video is a different ballgame than making music. And with all the songs out there on Spotify, perhaps the company would seek more discernment in the visual sphere.
Universal Music exec Michael Nash says, "The [streaming] platforms right now are flooded by a tidal wave of content as millions of creators [are] getting access."
The Wild Card: Spotify Could Go the Other Way
We just mentioned one of the main drawbacks for new musicians— there's just too much stuff out there, and it's a lot of low quality stuff. What if Spotify culls the herd and starts curating its selection more militantly, axing underperforming songs in the process?
It's something to consider because, as Nash adds, "Nearly 80 percent of this multimillion creator uploading pool has a monthly audience of less than 50 listeners. And, in fact, 90 percent of these creators have fewer than 400 monthly listeners."
He continues, "That's 400 monthly listeners out of an audience of [over] 400 million [on Spotify]. … That means that 90% of these uploaders are engaging less than 1 millionth of the platform. These are hobbyists that are playing to an essentially empty house.”
Podcasts: The Music of the Future?
Podcasts — the archenemy of music in the audio world. Just kidding, of course. Still, when you think about it, every second someone spends listening to a podcast in one second they're not listening to music.
In 2022, Spotify introduced a new ad format called Call-to-Action Cards that focus on podcast listeners. Clearly, Spotify sees the category as something to ramp up. But could podcasts one day take over?
In the end, who knows what the future holds. If you're an artist, how does your music perform on Spotify? And are you concerned about the state of music streaming?
Keep your head up, and keep waging the creative battle for your music to be heard.