How Spotify For Artists Is Changing The Game
Let's talk about how Spotify for Artists is changing the game.
I just released my first song as an independent artist. I have helped other people release a music as a producer and I had been involved in a lot of releases as a band member, but I had never written, produced, and released my own material by myself before.
I am in uncharted territory here.
If you go to my website, www.tomdupreeiii.com, and you look at the home page then click the social links at the bottom and go to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc., you will notice very quickly that my brand is succinct.
How I am portrayed across any channel that I choose to display myself is important to me, so when I released my first song, it was key that I be able to represent my brand as I wanted on streaming platforms as well.
Spotify for Artists allows you to do this.
However, it is still quite difficult to control your brand on other streaming platforms outside of Spotify.
The big ones–Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal, Google Play, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, and even Napster (yes, that Napster)–are where you really want to make sure your brand is correctly displayed.
Spotify has opened the gateway for the independent artist to take control of their brand with Spotify for Artists, so what about everybody else?
Well, not long after that product launched, Apple decided to give us something similar: Apple Music for Artists.
I did some research to see how easily I could change my bio, my header, and my profile picture on the rest of the services, and none of the rest of them seem to have an easy way to do that.
It's a mess.
Now, there are of course other services that allow you to customize your brand on streaming platforms, often for a fee.
You could choose Symphonic Distribution, however, not everyone is welcome. You have to apply. Or you could use your distribution channel of choice: TuneCore, Distrokid, Amuse.io, etc. Each has its pros and cons.
But what amazes me is that Spotify and Apple are still the only ones to give you direct access to your brand on their platform at this point.
Well, Spotify did it first. They were smart. I believe they saw the benefit to giving more power to the independent musician. No doubt they recognize that the vast majority of the content that is hosted on their servers is from independent creators.
Major label artists likely count for the lions share of streaming numbers, but I'm willing to bet those who are independent make up the vast majority of the pie of artists on any given platform.
I think Apple may see that too.
Apple followed suit very quickly after Spotify announced their new product. Apple saw that Spotify did something smart in incentivizing independent creators and they wanted to tap into that too. Plus, Apple already has the infrastructure in place by way of the iTunes store to create such a product. Just about every independent creator already has an account.
Music is the original lifeblood of Apple. It is in their DNA, and you can bet they are going to do all they can to keep Spotify from beating them at their own game.
So I'm interested to see what happens after this. Google has enough weight to throw behind a new avenue for creators, though it seems as though the Google Play Artists channel may be getting ported to YouTube for Artists instead. We'll have to see how that plays out.
But what about Deezer, Tidal, and Amazon? What will they allow in terms of customization and how quickly will they move on it? Is everyone going to have an artist portal in the near future?
I really think that direct access to controlling your brand and its representation on streaming platforms is the next move for all platforms (or at least it should be).
Nowadays, artist and brand go hand in hand, and controlling your brand on every channel where you engage with your audience is a cornerstone of the digital world.
What are your thoughts? If you know something I don't, let me know in the comments or hit me up on twitter at @tomdupreeiii and let's talk about it.
Listen to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/tomdupreeiii
Watch the video: https://youtu.be/wRfPsaCza1w