The power of playlists: Elevating local artists through Spotify Wrapped

The power of playlists: Elevating local artists through Spotify Wrapped

HAS everyone joined the Spotify Wrapped sharing spree already? Whether one is team Taylor Swift, Mitski, Deftones or all about Drake—it’s a whole mood for the rest of the week out there.

It’s been a running joke on the internet that Spotify Wrapped is the newest MBTI (Myers–Briggs Type Indicator) revealing another facet of one’s identity. Although this gives spotlight to big names in the music industry, how exactly can one help local artists through Spotify Wrapped?

For starters, TIME magazine revealed the basic math behind Spotify Wrapped:

“For a song or podcast to be considered streamed, a user must listen to it for 30 (seconds) minutes or more. The three most awaited year-end statistics—top albums, top songs, and top artists—are all based on aggregated stream counts. The list of top podcasts is assessed differently, this time based on the number of unique listeners.”

This means that Spotify logs your listening habits from the start of January up to the launch date of Wrapped which, for this year, is Nov. 29. In a much less complex understanding of this calculation, this generally reveals why one’s artist/song is included in the top plays/repeats for the end-of-the-year stats.

Spotify Wrapped has been a conversation starter among music fans and artists. This has also shed light to a better need for smaller artists to be recognized.

Spotify Wrapped zeroes in on recapping a user's music preferences from the past months. Though it doesn't directly spotlight small or local artists, enthusiasts can champion them by sharing top tracks and urging others to dive into fresh sounds. The ripple effect of fan engagement can be a game-changer for lesser-known artists, fostering heightened visibility and broader recognition in the music scene.

It’s equally opportune to seize this moment and introduce one’s latest finds—be it local gems or rising talents. Making hashtags about it, tagging the underground artists, creating a public playlist, sharing and putting it on one’s FB/IG stories and streaming their tracks even more will contribute to promoting their names in the streaming masses. Spotify’s streaming revenues can be confusing for some artists compared to the big names who have billions of plays to their names.

“There is no fixed amount earned per song stream. Instead, earnings from streams are based on the total numbers of streams an artist had in relation to all the streams on the platform. For example, if there were 10 song streams on a day when Spotify had just 100 total streams it would earn far more than 10 song streams on a day when Spotify had over 100,000,000 streams. Every artist is, in a way, competing against one another for fractions of pennies, while Spotify earns more as the total number of plays continues to rise as the Spotify community continues to grow,” wrote Haulix Daily.

And it may be up to Spotify to address these issues. But by educating music consumers about this, it will urge the giant streaming platform to be more inclusive. When folks start talking about transparent compensation modes and fair revenue sharing, streaming platforms can work on a more equitable system that acknowledges the diverse contributions of artists.

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