Spotify

Spotify Has Lifted Its Hated 3,333-Song Download Limit

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A common gripe among Spotify users is that the app limits the number of songs that can be downloaded to phones and computers for offline listening (3,333 tracks per device, with a three-device limit, to be exact). In its latest software update, the streaming service has quietly increased the limit threefold.

Spotify now lets you download a whole lot more music for offline listening -- 6,667 more tracks, to be precise. The Swedish music streaming giant now allows Premium subscribers to download 10,000 songs per device on up to five devices, a considerable jump from its previous limit of 3,333 tracks onto three devices.

"At Spotify, we're always working on improving the experience for our users," a company spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "We can now confirm that we have increased the number of offline tracks per device -- from 3,333 on 3 devices to 10,000 tracks per device for up to 5 devices."

That means the total limit is now 50,000 songs, meaning you can have plenty of tunes should you take a long trip into the wilderness or otherwise choose to unplug. 

It's still less than Apple Music, which allows you to store up to 100,000 songs, and Amazon's Prime Music allows you download as many songs as you like onto four different devices. It's more customizable than Pandora Plus, which downloads up to four of your most-listened-to stations for your Offline Station list.

Spotify Premium costs $10 a month. In August, the company bumped up its offerings for US college students, adding a subscription to Showtime to its $4.99 per month Spotify Premium for Students plan .

SPOTIFY AND APPLE BOTH TOOK BILLBOARDS IN TIMES SQUARE PROMOTING THE SAME ARTIST (AND IT WASN’T DRAKE)

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New Yorkers will have gotten used to seeing Apple Music and Spotify billboards appearing in the iconic Times Square, promoting fresh music from key artists.

In recent months, for example, Spotify has paid for huge New Music Friday banners promoting tracks from the likes of Liam Payne & J Balvin and Ariana Grande.

Apple, meanwhile, has backed the likes of Nicki Minaj and Torey Lanez with very similar real estate in the same location.

A couple of weeks ago, however, those in Times Square might have had to do a double take: because the same artist was promoted by both global streaming giants in the location.

An Streambeet blog reader in NYC snapped the shots and just sent them into us; interesting, right?

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Step forward, British singer/songwriter Nina Nesbitt (pictured) – who is currently benefiting from a simultaneous worldwide push from Spotify and Apple.

Nesbitt has released two new singles this year, Somebody Special and latest track Loyal To Me, in addition to other songs like Best You Had.

Loyal To Me was recently re-recorded for an exclusive ‘Spotify Singles’ release which arrived late last month.

It’s not the first time Nesbitt has recorded an original for Spotify’s service: in March, she issued new track Psychopath, recorded with Sasha Sloan and Charlotte Lawrence, as a Spotify Singles release to celebrate Women’s History Month. It was accompanied by a cover version of Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

Nesbitt was formerly signed to Universal/Island Records for her 2014 debut album, but now releases music independently, licensed through UK-based independent Cooking Vinyl worldwide.

Cooking Vinyl founder Martin Goldschmidt told MBW that Nesbitt has now clocked up 100m streams on all formats, and is currently pulling in more than a million streams each week.

But what’s drawn such mutual, simultaneous support from Apple and Spotify?

Especially in the same quarter that Nicki Minaj is claiming that support from one (Apple) led to promotional punishment by another (Spotify – something the green machine outright denies)?

“All the DSPs believe in Nina and love her music – it’s really that simple,” says Goldschmidt.

“Spotify and Apple are both playing a big role in getting the momentum going on this music, and now radio is getting interested in the UK, US and beyond.”

A new Spotify initiative makes the big record labels nervous

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For decades, the path to stardom in the music industry has usually gone through a major record company.

Almost every artist today who reaches the top of the charts — whether Kanye or Adele, Beyoncé or Drake — has gotten there with help from one of the three conglomerates that control around 80 percent of the business: Universal, Sony and Warner.

Now Spotify is experimenting with another approach, one that is making those labels nervous.

Over the last year, the 12-year-old company has quietly struck direct licensing deals with a small number of independent artists. The deals give those artists a way onto the streaming platform and a closer relationship to the company — an advantage when pitching music for its influential playlists — while bypassing the major labels altogether.

Although the deals are modest — with advance payments of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to several people involved — the big record companies see the Spotify initiative as a potential threat: a small step that, down the line, could reshape the music business as it has existed since the days of the Victrola.

Spotify, a Stockholm company that went public in April, has offered few details about its entry into the talent marketplace. It has not revealed which artists it has made deals with, and declined to comment for this article.

According to six people in the music industry who have been briefed on the recent deals, but were not authorized to discuss them publicly, Spotify has paid advances to management firms and other companies that represent artists who are not signed to a record label. For now, that means up-and-coming acts and older artists who have gained control over their vintage hits.

Spotify is offering artists two advantages: a bigger financial cut and ownership of their recordings. The deals, furthermore, are not exclusive, leaving the artists free to license their songs to other streaming companies, like Apple Music and Amazon.

Spotify typically pays a record label around 52 percent of the revenue generated by each stream, or play, of a given song. The label, in turn, pays the artist a royalty of anywhere from 15 percent to, in some cases, 50 percent of its cut. By agreeing to a direct licensing deal with Spotify, artists and their representatives are able to keep the whole payout.

The closest the company has come to making its ambitions public was during an earnings call in July, when Daniel Ek, the company’s chief executive, confirmed reports in Billboard and elsewhere that Spotify was pursuing direct deals with independent artists.

He was careful to add that such deals did not mean Spotify was turning into a record company — something that Spotify’s contracts with the big labels forbid, according to people briefed on the terms of those contracts.

“Licensing content does not make us a label, nor do we have any interest in becoming a label,” Ek said on the call. “We don’t own any rights to any music, and we’re not acting like a record label.”

The next Ed Sheeran or Ariana Grande may be attracted by the very thing Ek cited in arguing that Spotify is not becoming a label. With its 83 million subscribers — and nearly 100 million more who listen free — the service can offer significant exposure to artists without asking them to give up something that traditional record companies demand as part of any deal: ownership of their recordings.

Taylor Swift is one artist who is intent on keeping her work. She will become a free agent this year after the expiration of her deal with Big Machine, an independent label in Nashville that is distributed by Universal, and she is said to be seeking a deal that would give her ownership of her recordings.

Spotify’s decision to forge closer relationships with artists comes with a big risk, however. In the end, it may not be worth antagonizing the labels that the company depends on, said Amy Yong, a media analyst at Macquarie.

In preparation for its public stock listing, Spotify hinted that it had big plans to change the “old model” of the music business, which it said relied on “gatekeepers” like record companies and radio. In their place, Spotify said, it wanted to usher in a new era that would help new artists break through more easily.

That stance has put Spotify in an awkward position between investors, who are rooting for disruptions that could lead to profits, and music business executives, who would like the streaming service to stay in its lane.

According to public filings, Spotify had about $4.9 billion in revenue last year but almost $1.5 billion in net losses. Its stock price has risen steadily since April, and the company is valued at roughly $34 billion.

Below the level of the giant conglomerates, the attitude toward Spotify’s moves has been anything but hostile. Its entry into the talent marketplace may give artists more leverage, said Zack Gershen, an executive at Mtheory, a company that consults with artist managers.

“From our perspective, options are good,” Gershen said. “Options create competition. They create innovation. They help everybody discover what the future of this business is.”

Spotify Promotion: 6 Easy Steps to Streaming Success on Spotify

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Whether you like it or not, there's no denying that the music streaming industry is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. With Spotify recently hitting a new milestone of 10 million subscribers, we think it's a wise decision for all independent artists and labels to strengthen their presence on the service.

To help, we’ve compiled these six super easy action items that we’re confident will make a difference in your success and help you with your Spotify promotion. Try them out!

1. "On air, on Spotify"

If your music is “on air” – meaning on the radio, YouTube, SoundCloud, or anywhere else online — it should be available to stream on Spotify. This way, you’re both monetizing your music and encouraging playlist adds and profile follows for continued listening.

2. Verify your profile

By verifying your profile (similarly to Twitter), you have the ability to directly communicate with your fans and be highlighted with Spotify’s check of approval. These profiles not only show off an artist’s discography but also house your tour dates, merchandise, biography, photos, and allow you to toggle over to view your playlists on your user profile. A verified profile allows you to communicate with your fans within Spotify through the Spotify Social and Discover feeds, and in-­client messaging. Every time a new piece of content is released ­(new single, EP, album), your fans get a push notification, and every time you add tracks to your playlist, all followers of that playlist will get notified.

To sign up for a verified page, simply fill out their Spotify Verification Request form.

3. Use Spotify as a promotional channel

Think of Spotify as a social network that allows you to monetize your own content in a creative, promotional way. On Spotify, you can gain a follower base, which in turn becomes a promotional channel­. Your Spotify followers receive notifications about updates to your content and your listening habits. Sharing your Spotify profile across your artist properties and socials will drive fans to follow you on Spotify, and allow you to engage in conversations with your fans.

Here are some practical ways to grow your Spotify followers:

  • Follow artists you like to help your fans discover the music you’re listening to.

  • Create and share your playlists.

  • Share across external social networks and encourage conversation when sharing (i.e. ask your fans which tracks they’re into).

  • Share single tracks and albums you’re listening to, and ask fans which playlists you should follow.

  • Add Spotify links to YouTube and other video descriptions.

  • Add the Spotify Follow Button to your website to allow fans to follow you in an easy single click without leaving your website.

4. Create quality playlists

Similar to how a DJ would curate a mix for a radio station or club, streaming services use playlists as an easy way to share tracks and promote discovery.

Keep these tips in mind when creating your playlists:

  • Ensure your account is never empty, and that you have at ­least 1­2 public playlists available.

  • Focus on one playlist –­ choose one to maintain, and add to consistently.

  • Adding tracks on a regular basis is key. The more frequent the adds and the bigger the playlist, the better. Each time you update your playlist, it will appear in fans’ Discover feeds, and followers of the playlist will be notified.

  • Share it. Actively clicking “share” ensures you reach your fans. You’ll find the “share” button towards the top of each page, or right click (cmd+click on Mac) any title to copy and paste the link to be shared across other social platforms.

  • Share with messages: Include text when you share to help your story stand out.

  • Listen to music from your Spotify account. You’ll appear in the live ticker feed (on the right side of the Spotify client), and you’ll generate stories through Discover.

  • Add themed playlists. Once you’ve grown one playlist, add more niche, smaller playlists around certain events or themes.

5. Put the Spotify Play Button on your website

Spotify provides a quick and easy embeddable code that you can put on your website so that your fans can listen to your playlists and discography. By putting this Spotify Play Button on your website or Tumblr, your fans can listen to your music while continuing to engage with your site.

To get the button: just right click on the playlist, track or album on Spotify and select “Copy Embed Code.” This copies the link to your clipboard. Then, paste the code into your website and the Spotify Play Button will show up on your site.

6. Track your metrics

Next Big Sound provides free up-to-date analytics for artists. When you log in, you can see your growth in followers, streaming data, and the effects of your social media campaigns. You'll be able to track how all of these best practices grows your streams and revenue. 

  

We are glad to have you on our music marketing blog where we aim to help as many artists as possible! Are you ready to grow your Spotify plays, grow your Spotify followers, and have your music played over more earpieces, Streambeet is the most cost-efficient service with the best Spotify promotion campaigns in the industry. We operate with a single goal in mind – to help artists boost their Spotify tracks, grow their Spotify following, gain valuable coverage, and even get their tracks on big Spotify playlists. To learn more and get started, visit www.streambeet.com

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