Just a week after over 4,000 independent artists backed a campaign that pressures Spotify to pay artists more per stream, the service announced a new feature that poses another disadvantage to smaller artists. Spotify announced they will begin allowing artists to promote their music in your personalized algorithm — only if musicians agree to take a smaller cut of streaming royalties.
Spotify made the announcement in a press release Monday. Calling the feature a “new experiment,” they explained that “artists and labels can identify music that’s a priority for them, and our system will add that signal to the algorithm that determines personalized listening sessions.”
Per Spotify’s blogpost, which Gizmodo noted as “carefully worded,” the streaming service wrote that artists will be taking a cut of royalty payouts. “Instead, labels or rights holders agree to be paid a promotional recording royalty rate for streams in personalized listening sessions where we provided this service.”
Spotify then went on to clarify that if a song isn’t performing well with listeners, they will pull the song from its algorithm placement. “Listener satisfaction is our priority—we won’t guarantee placement to labels or artists, and we only ever recommend music we think listeners will want to hear,” they wrote. In other words, artists cannot ensure priority even if they agree to take a smaller cut of royalties in exchange for taking advantage of the feature.
This new tool will not factor into listener’s Discover Weekly playlists, which is a curated cluster of music the streaming service’s algorithm has deduced a listener will enjoy based on their streaming history. The feature will only apply to radio and autoplay services, though Spotify did note they may eventually expand it to “other personalized areas” of their platform.
Read Spotify’s full blog post here.