Independent labels hate Spotify’s discovery mode – but DIY giants love it

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At the end of last year, Spotify unveiled its controversial ‘Discovery Mode’ tool, which allows artists to benefit from guaranteed algorithmic games on the platform … in exchange for a lower royalty rate for the streams in question. .

Not everyone is in love with this idea – especially, it seems, independent labels.

In March, without More precisely Naming the new feature of SPOT, the body of independent European label IMPALA has called for an end to music streaming “payola”, slamming digital tools that offer rights holders reduced royalties for “privileged treatment in algorithms or d ‘other features’.

US independent label organization A2IM, meanwhile, said Discovery mode “challenges the credibility of Spotify’s recommendation engine.” And last month, the US-based Artists Rights Alliance directly compared Discovery Mode to Payola.

The discovery mode has even raised the concern of the United States House Judiciary Committee, which asked Daniel Ek what “guarantees” Spotify puts in place to ensure that the tool does not lead to “a leveling. down where the only practical way to get recommended is to accept a reduced fee ”.

Today, two major players in the DIY sector / independent artists have delivered their verdict on Discovery Mode… and, on the other hand, it is a resounding approval from both sides.

DIY distribution platform TuneCore and its Paris-based parent company Believe today confirmed that they have partnered with Spotify to test Discovery Mode for the past six months with a number of artists. .

According to Believe, its data shows that “artists whose songs are in discovery mode found on average more than 40% more listeners than in pre-discovery mode” and that “44% of these [new] listeners had never listened to the artist before ”.

Believe is so passionate about the tool that it is now investing in “building a platform dedicated to data intelligence and digital marketing” in order to select the artists and songs that have the most potential to succeed in Discovery mode.

A case study shared via Spotify for Artists describes the experience of Natalie Perez – a freelance artist signed by Believe – working with Discovery Mode.

Believe says that in December, he “turned on” discovery mode for 33 tracks from Perez, who has more than 600,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. He then ran this campaign for a period of three months.

Of those 33 tracks, 14 performed “extremely well,” according to Spotify, with Perez increasing his daily Spotify listening base by 57% in the US and Mexico.

“Believe supports Spotify’s discovery mode because it is very innovative and beneficial for independent artists.

Denis Ladegaillerie, Believe

Commenting on the results of these tests today (June 30), Denis Ladegaillerie, Founder and CEO of Believe, said: “In the digital world, artist development is digital and recommendation algorithms are the new marketing. Believe supports Spotify’s discovery mode because it is very innovative and beneficial for independent artists.

“The democratizing power of the program will allow a larger community of artists to benefit from the promotion of their music. And, in those early tests, we’re already seeing how the program can help talented artists from Believe and TuneCore around the world gain exposure to new listeners.

Philip Kaplan is the founder and CEO of the DIY distribution platform DistroKid, which distributes over a million tracks each month to Spotify and other services.

Distrokid, which counts Spotify as a minority shareholder, has itself tested Discovery mode in recent months… and has also praised Spotify’s new tool.

“Discovery Mode is a revolutionary music marketing tool because it does not require any initial budget. “

Philip Kaplan, DistroKid

“Discovery Mode is a revolutionary music marketing tool because it requires no upfront budget,” Kaplan wrote in a testimonial posted on the Spotify for Artists landing page.

“Discovery Mode allows independent artists of all skill levels to reach new fans in a whole new way. “

“Discovery Mode maximizes the reach of the music, based on the merit of the music – not because a guard said it. “

Andreea Gleeson, TuneCore

Andreea Gleeson, Co-head and Chief Revenue Officer of TuneCore added, “At TuneCore, we believe there has never been a better time for independent artists around the world.

“We are witnessing a paradigm shift where the success of an artist is no longer tied to traditional radio or traditional media.

“Discovery Mode maximizes the reach of the music, based on the merit of the music – not because a guard said so. If the music is good, the discovery mode will help artists find new fans.

“The first results are really exciting: our data shows that the discovery mode offers on average 1.5 times more streaming increase for artists with less than one million monthly listeners than for those with more than. a million. “

Charlie Hellman, Spotify

Other pro-Discovery Mode testimonials to emerge today include that of DistroKid artist Ryan Oakes. He writes that “as a freelance artist it’s hard to know where to put your money to market your music. Sufficient funding must therefore be found.

Adds Oakes: “Spotify fixes that problem with this new feature. It helps me reach very targeted people and make them lifelong fans. The results speak for themselves and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for creative ways to reach new fans without a big record label budget.

Charlie Hellman, Vice President, Marketplace Manager, Spotify, commented, “At Spotify, we create tools and resources that are accessible to artists and that they can benefit from at any point in their careers, from anywhere in the world.

“Believe and TuneCore are home to such a diverse array of artists and have been invaluable partners as we have developed Discovery Mode as a tool that can serve not only established artists but also developing artists.

“The first results are really exciting: our data shows that the discovery mode offers on average 1.5 times more streaming increase for artists with less than one million monthly listeners than for those with more than. a million. “Music trade around the world


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