Spotify Hops In on Music's Livestreaming Craze

“We’re making it easy for your fans to tune in wherever you are and wherever they are,” Spotify told artists in a blog post on Tuesday morning. The streaming service announced that artists can now list virtual events on their Spotify profiles, in an attempt to help mitigate the effects of canceled and rescheduled tour dates while the light at the end of the tunnel that is COVID-19 still far off.

Spotify is by far and away the biggest streaming service in music; in the last quarter, nearly 300 million monthly active users explored the platform. And with touring out of the current equation, the livestreaming of crowdless concerts and events has become increasingly popular throughout the artist community — so it only makes sense that Spotify would see the benefit of serving as a one-stop shop.

To make that happen, Spotify decided to lean on its already-established partnership with livestream-discovery app Songkick; virtual events uploaded through the latter service will automatically appear in the “concerts hub” of an artist’s profile. That said, artists have no way of manually uploading these listings via the Spotify for Artists platform — they must be Songkick users.

Spotify says a “select number” of Ticketmaster events will be automatically listed as well, but no further details have been given about said selections.

The original hosts of the clips — options including Twitch, Instagram Live, and YouTube Live — don’t matter to Spotify, as long as the clips are then organized through Songkick and, in those “select” cases, Ticketmaster. Once accessible via Spotify, the company encourages artists to try making a livestream their “Artist Pick,” which will put a link at the top of an artist’s profile.

“Over the past six months, in the wake of COVID-19, we’ve seen artists adapt and innovate in incredible ways,” Spotify says in the blog post. “In lieu of live shows, staging virtual performances across a variety of platforms has become a vital way to connect with your fans, and share who you are with new listeners. With many tours postponed until 2021, the necessity for these virtual events is set to continue, and we want to make it easy for Spotify listeners to learn about the virtual events for artists they love, and for artists they’re discovering for the very first time.”

While there’s no way for artists to generate additional revenue within Spotify by taking advantage of the new function — since the company isn’t actually hosting the livestreams itself — it could offer expanded exposure for artists who use the feature. With so many ways to livestream nowadays, having everything in one place helps hold the attention of the modern fan who is constantly being pulled in different digital directions, and attention-capturing tools are like currency during these white-noise-filled days.

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