Spotify debuts new growth and discovery tools for artists, merch and live events

At Spotify’s Stream On event today, the company introduced new tools to help artists on the streaming service build an audience and grow. Spotify showcased a suite of tools to help artists find fans who would enjoy their music the most, and also announced new features designed to create buzz around their content, merchandise and live events.

Spotify unveiled a new feature called "Marquee," which is a full-screen, sponsored recommendation of a new release. The goal of the feature is to reach listeners who have shown an interest in an artist's music. Spotify notes that Marquee is 10 times more cost-effective on average at getting listeners to stream music on Spotify than ads on the most popular social media platforms.

A new "Discovery Mode" tool will allow artists and their teams to identify songs they want prioritized on the streaming service, after which Spotify will add that signal to the algorithms that shape personalized listening sessions. Spotify says if an artists' song is resonating with listeners, Discovery Mode will increase the likelihood that it's recommended in both radio and autoplay. Every month, artists will be able to see reporting to understand how many new listeners were reached.

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The company noted that algorithmic recommendations are critical on audio and video streaming platforms, and that on Spotify, one-third of all new artists discoveries happen that way. Discovery Mode is available directly within Spotify for Artists.

Spotify also unveiled "Showcase," which is a new mobile card on the streaming service's revamped home feed that will introduce an artist’s music, whether a new release or catalog, to users who are likely to listen to their music. The company says it has started testing Showcase with select artists and labels, and will make it more widely available in the future. Artists will be able to reach people right when they're deciding what to listen to, while also being able to target listeners based on their streaming history.

Spotify shared more details about helping artists grow revenue through merchandise and live events. The streaming service is adding new concert and merch discovery tools, and users will start to see merch offers and concert listings in far more places across the app. If a user is interested in a live event, they can tap on a new "interested" button to save the event to their own calendar in the Live Events Feed. Users have the option to adjust their location and browse concerts worldwide. Spotify notes that the events users see are personalized to their taste.

Image Credits: Spotify

"In 2022, we listed over 840,000 concerts on Spotify," said Sulinna Ong, Spotify's global head of Editorial, during the event. "Going forward, Spotify listeners will start to see personalized constantly listings featured more prominently across the app across the homepage."

The company is also expanding its "Fans First" program, which is a Spotify email marketing program that enables artists to sell unique or exclusive offers, to include more artists. Spotify says more artists will be able to ensure their top listeners receive emails and notifications that give them access to concert pre-sales and merch exclusives.

In addition, Spotify announced new features that are designed to allow artists to create buzz amongst fans. There's a new Story-like "Spotify Clips" feature that lets artists add 30-second videos to their artist profiles and album pages. The feature is designed to let fans go deeper into an artist's music when listening to their content.

Image Credits: Spotify

Spotify is also launching "Countdown Pages," which is a dedicated space on an artist’s profile and Spotify’s home feed. The space allows fans to presave albums, see exclusive videos, preorder merchandise, preview tracklists and watch the timer count down to a new release. Spotify has been testing Countdown Pages with Taylor Swift, Florence and the Machine, Sam Smith and more.

The new tools come as Spotify revealed that the number of artists generating $1 million+, as well as those generating $10,000+, has more than doubled over the past five years. Spotify also revealed that its payouts to the music industry since its founding is approaching $40 billion.

Today's event also saw Spotify introducing a significant redesign of its app, which capitalizes on its investments in personalization technology while also adopting a similar short-form video feed as the one popularized by TikTok. The updated Spotify mobile app gives users access to several new features, including the vertically scrolling “discovery” feeds, a new “Smart Shuffle” mode for playlist recommendations, a new podcast autoplay feature and more.