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Spotify Finds Another Way To Bleed Artists Dry

Come on, guys.

spotify laptop

Spotify has just rolled out their brand new Showcase feature, in the event you'd like to make CEO Daniel Ek even richer. Spotify's Showcase feature charges artists to promote their music as a paid banner advertisement at the top of Spotify’s Home to what they're calling "likely listeners across Spotify."

Of course Spotify positions the home page as the "most visited place on Spotify, where millions of listeners come to decide what to listen to, resulting in billions of streams each day," and then mention "people who see a Showcase are 6x more likely to stream the promoted release." That last phrase is a link to a video that simply repeats the information and doesn't actually dive into what any of those statistics mean, or how helpful this can actually be for artists.

So how is this bleeding artists dry? Because getting your music featured on Showcase starts at $100 and is priced on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis starting at a $0.40. So one click on your music costs you $0.40, and you'll make roughly $0.005 in royalties per listen. I'm sure you're seeing how this math absolutely does not work in your favor. Basically, you'd need every single person that clicks on your ad to stream your brand new album or single way more times than they're probably going to in order to turn a profit.

Spotify further points out in their press release that artists must have at least 1,000 streams over the past 28 days in at least one of the available target markets to be eligible to use Showcase, and the artist team’s billing country must be set to the U.S.

My cynicism over this new feature stems from a lot of stories we've run in the past. For starters, there were over 100,000 tracks uploaded to Spotify every single day back in October 2022 – a number that has since grown, and most songs are going unplayed anyway. So the room is only getting more crowded. Then there's the fact that almost no DIY artist is making anywhere close to a reasonable amount of money from their music, and it's only getting worse. Doubly so as Spotify sees that there's more competition and offers even lower royalty rates for promotion.

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