Nice follow up piece Sean. “Let’s build a better streaming world together”. My sentiments exactly! For the indies I think working together as a ‘collective’ could be the decisive turning point for them to have a louder voice in the streaming world. They have a 36% market share (based in rights ownership). Therefore in theory they should be represented by this percentage (at least) in the popular playlists. Sadly I don’t think this would happen on Spotify, as they are striving for global reach domination where the general public prefer things a little more ‘poppy’ shall we say.
Spotify and its major label shareholders & investors have a certain agenda and of course it makes perfect business sense that if you have invested you would want some priority for your repertoire. I’ve stopped checking in on my Discover weekly playlist, it got too boring — its a smart algorithm, but as you say, could do much better. Release radar was a good addition for the user.
Don’t get me wrong I think Spotify is a great platform. The issue I have, is that I feel that the majors have far to much access to the raw data, and the resources to really dig in & analyse. Hand in hand with Spotify giving them the ‘heads up’ on emerging trends in different territories. If some new artist that has started organic growth in a certain country and is bucking the trend in that genre, then they’ll be the first to know giving their A&R an advantage.
I worked at PIAS for many years, so I am truly behind the indies. But looking further on to the future, with the inevitable decrease in physical sales & downloads — streaming will be the mainstay in every household. What is not represented at the moment is a variety of ‘stores’ (platforms) to represent the indies and the vast array of new music & genres on offer. Also the youth of tomorrow don’t want to be listening to their new band/producer they had discovered, on the same platform their mum listens to her Sunday morning chill playlist.
There is a great opportunity outside of Spotify, Apple, Amazon & Google, and its super clear to me how it could work both B2C & B2B.