Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Spotify is dead!

I just been in a couple of meetings with several bigger firms around the world and the tags are on the wall. No no no, Spotify as a company is not dead, well it can be with the new deals but that is not what I will talk about here. It's dead as the way of discover music and get spread to other platforms.

What is going on is that the frontrunners in the industry see that the figures are nothing you can count on. Sure, nice figures give money to the team. Still it doesn’t tell anything about the popularity or how people find the music or want to consume it. And too many are relaying on the figures.

Yes even if you have millions of streams doesn’t mean that your brand is worth something. For example Chainsmokers is one of the most streamed artists on Spotify. Over 2 billlion streams. When they played in Stockholm a couple of months ago. They played in a place that has a capacity of 1000 people. If AC/DC came to Stockholm they play on an arena that takes 50 000 in two days in a row. And they are not even on Spotify. Sure in the end Chainsmokers will get there, but it will take them, years, if ever. And that they invest so much more in other fields. I wouldn’t switch the money for the merchandise on one evening with AC/DC then the entire stream from Chainsmokers.

Since Spotify has taken control of most of the playlists. And it has become really hard to pitch to those lists. More and more are counting Spotify as an outlet, not a place where you discover an artist. The people that comes in there knows what they are looking for. When this happen you start to place your advertising on other places. It a bit like the old situation with the record stores. You put the marketing outside the store. Sure you printed some posters and had some instore gigs, for Spotify you picth to the official channels just to get recognizition. Still that was small part of the marketing. The most was toursupport, ad:s radio plugging. Things to get people to go to the store and ask for your album. Trust that the people in the store would try to sell the album to people unfamiliar with the artist was nothing you trusted. Even worse that people would hear the music in the speakers in the store and then decide to buy that album. Same here, you just can’t trust Spotify to do the job it has to come from outside.

Since Spotify are getting more paid users, banners and commercials is not that interesting to do since they goes against the ones with free accounts. Hand on the heart are you really clicking on these banners that mainly are commercials for another of Spotifys playlists? Our statistics shows that it won't do anything.

A friend of my worked with an artist just out of Facebooks ads. When they reached 20 million streams, Spotify called them and told them if they paid 5000 dollar they could add 80 million more streams by put the track on their playlists. My friend politely told them to fuck off.

Why? Easy with the Facebooks ads he could control his target group. Also track them and see how they react on different campaigns. Spotify was just an outlet that paid back the things he invested. So he just intensify his campaign on Facebook and reached 100 million streams two months later, faster than Spotify promised and he keept the data.

And it’s written all over the place. The youtube phenomenon “Det vet du” with 132 000 followers on Youtube and around 3 millions streams of their videos. Couldn’t get to the finale in the Swedish Eurovison. Was taken off by artist that has around 1000 followers. These followers are just in the outlet. They got most streams on Spotify of all the songs. Still didn’t make it. What people put in the outlet doesn’t really leave the outlet if it is a social media tool.  Yes if you can control the data in the tool you can use that inside the tool, but outside it become much harder.

Vigiland is another example. Swedish dj duo that has over 500 million streams and was Universals big target (seems to drop them now). I saw them on the smallest stage on a festival, and it was not good and many people didn’t care. Even though they just got over 100 million streams back then. They were nominated with “Pong dance” to the Swedish Grammy award. The thing here is this prize is a thing you can vote on the site (the peoples prize). With 80 000 followers on Spotify it should be easy to get this prize. They were outvoted by far, by a kid that only has 30 000 followers and only claim to fame is that he won the Swedish Eurovision last year. And if we take off the winning song from Eurovision barely has 7 million streams.

Many in the industry will do the mistake turning down The Beatles because four people with guitars and long hair was nothing that are going to make it big. Spotify will have a problem that it will be other sources that will break the artist on their systems. With that the industry will take back control to market to promote shit as usual. But more the industry will be able to lead their followers to the outlet that suite them best. I guess here is where the battle for Spotify will be, we might choose to lead our listeners to Youtube, Deezer or Apple or some other outlet Facebook maybe.

Right now my motto will be to leave people behind that just look on the streams on Spotify. They are not in the game any longer. You have to see the whole picture. The streams can just go up tomorrow if you do the right thing somewhere else. If you don’t control that other place, then you are not in the game.


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