Set up your concerts on Spotify to reach out to fans

Promote your gigs on Spotify and send personal messages to all of your fans to make sure that all of your followers have a chance to see your shows.

Playing shows can be the best part of being an artist, but it can also be tough—driving thousands of miles, dealing with broken equipment, and forcing down truck stop food. One thing’s for sure: it’s a drag to play for no one.

That’s why we’re doubling down our efforts to let your fans know when you’re coming to town, and introducing some new tools to give you a snapshot of all your upcoming shows.

Here’s how it works.

Every other week, we send out millions of concert emails to listeners on Spotify. These messages let fans know when their favorite artists are coming to town, and give them the opportunity to buy tickets to the show.

A sample concert recommendation email.
A sample concert recommendation email.

We send these emails to three types of people:

  1. Followers: People who follow you on Spotify.
  2. Listeners: People who have played your music in the past 30 days.
  3. People we think might like you: People who listen to similar artists.

Guess what: We’ve found that these emails really work. Clickthrough rates are about five times higher than the music industry average. Not bad.

Also, your followers get special treatment. In addition to the emails, we send your upcoming concerts to the homescreen of their Spotify app. Your tour dates also show up in their concerts page, which features a list of upcoming concerts in their area. Everyone has their own personalized concerts page, based on listener behavior. (You can see your own right here.)

A sample concerts hub.
A sample concerts hub.

Introducing: Your concerts page.

To give you a snapshot of all your concerts on Spotify, we’ve added a new concerts section to Spotify for Artists. The dates are automatically pulled from four ticketing services: Ticketmaster, Songkick, AXS, and Eventbrite.

What you can do.

Here’s our best advice: focus on growing your followers. These are your core fans, the people who like you enough to manually click that little green “follow” button on your profile page. Think of them as your mailing list on Spotify: they’ll get updates about your activities before anyone else.

The same way your followers are the first to know when you release new music, you’ll be included in our concert recommendations when you’re coming to town.

The main thing to remember is that the best way to make sure your fans never miss a show is to ask them to follow you. For example, you might want to put an ask on your social media accounts every now and then, or shout it out from the stage. But only if you feel like it.

If you haven’t yet, get signed up for Spotify for Artists right here.

SoundCloud just secured it’s biggest funding ever, CEO assures they’re here to stay

After contesting rumours that SoundCloud were on the brink of shutdown CEO Alex Ljung has announced they have just wrapped up their largest round of funding ever.

Recent months have seen SoundCloud face rumours of its impending doom and that the investors want to oust founder Alex Ljung from his position as CEO. They strongly denied claims of their severe lack of funding that would precede their demise, and now it seems they were right as they’ve secured the largest investment since launching 10 years ago.

The funding that SoundCloud have received will allow them to continue under their own ownership and has come from two investors, The Raine Group and Temasek. It’s not clear if these are the two investors who were rumoured to be taking a majority stake in the company last month.

Rumours concerning a CEO replacement seem to have been accurate as former Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor (pictured above) will take Alexander Ljung’s place as CEO of the company. Trainor will also be bringing in Mike Weissman as his COO at SoundCloud. Ljung will remain as Chairman at the company after helping to found the company and run it as CEO for the past 10 years.

Ljung wrote a full statement that you can read below:

Hey everyone,

Recently you heard me say SoundCloud isn’t going away. And today I’m here to tell you the exact same thing once again. In all caps.

I’m happy to announce that together with investors The Raine Group and Temasek we’ve just wrapped up the largest financing round in the history of SoundCloud. This financing means SoundCloud remains strong & independent. As I said, SoundCloud is here to stay.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been moved by the outpouring of commentary around SoundCloud’s unique & crucial role in driving what global culture is today (and what it will become tomorrow). You’ve told me how, without SoundCloud, there would be a giant gaping void in today’s world of music. We can’t have that, and I’m happy to once again say that won’t be happening.

I’m excited to also announce that this new partnership also brings talent to our SoundCloud family. From prior Vimeo-fame (a platform we love!) comes Kerry Trainor and Mike Weissman, two awesome leaders who will be joining SoundCloud as CEO and COO, respectively.

Wait, CEO? Am I leaving? No, absolutely not. After a decade of balancing the roles of Founder, CEO and Chairman I’m excited to hand the CEO reins over to Kerry to allow me to fully focus on the role of the Chairman and the long-term. This, I know, sets us up as an even greater team  for the decade(s) to come.

10 years ago SoundCloud was just an idea Eric and I bounced around. Today it’s a platform essential to the shaping of songs, artists, genres and global culture. I can’t fathom how we’ve been so lucky as to create that. But what’s even better is this: we’re all just getting started. The first 10 years are done, and now we’re onto decade II.

SoundCloud, just like music, will continue to evolve, but importantly, both will always be a key part of life.

Alexander Ljung
Founder & Chairman, SoundCloud

Spotify now streaming on the Xbox One

Following leaked suggestions last week the rumours are true, you can now stream Spotify music from your Xbox One.

Spotify has launched on the Xbox One, years after arriving on PlayStations. The app resembles other TV versions of Spotify like the Android TV app and of course the PlayStation version.

Spotify on Xbox One is available to both free and Premium users, with advertisements played every few songs for free users. The app will support Spotify Connect meaning that you can use your mobile app to control the apps playback, what you want to listen to, volume and more.

The Spotify app will allow for background play, meaning that you can stream music whilst you play games and simply enter the Xbox guide or use a device to adjust playback. This is a massive feature that Xbox gamers have been requesting for ages, and now it’s available through the world’s most popular music streaming service. Not to mention you can use it without paying a penny.

Spotify for Xbox One also comes with a bunch of unique gaming playlists to perfectly accompany whatever you might be playing. Of course you can access your own playlists if you fancy one of your own mixes of music.

The app launch comes just a week after it was leaked that Spotify was probably coming to Xbox One. A Reddit user posted a picture that showed Larry Hyrb (aka Major Nelson) listening to “Spotify for Xbox One” on his account.

Spotify is now available on Xbox One in 34 countries on the Xbox Store and is getting rave reviews from users so far, reporting little-to-no bugs and claiming that the background play during games works like a dream. Sorry you had to wait so long Xbox gamers, but it’s finally here so get streaming!

The new CEO of Jay-Z’s Tidal has been announced

Jay-Z’s star-powered music streaming service has revealed its new CEO, the fourth to step in since launching just over 2 years ago.

Replacing Jeff Toig as CEO of the high-fidelity music streaming service will be Richard Sanders. Sanders takes the reins at Tidal following five-year stint at Kobalt Music Group where he served as President of the company.

With considerable industry experience, standing as the chairman of international & president of global marketing for Sony Music. In addition Sanders headed up Sony Music Live which was responsible for more than 5,000 live music events every year. Before working at Sony Sanders still had an impressive résumé having worked at RCA Records, Arista Records and Sir Richard Branson’s V2 Records.

Considering the various struggles Tidal have experienced since launching to stay afloat, relevant and most importantly make money – Sander’s experience will hopefully go a long way into creating a Tidal that can continue to exist.

Richard Sanders joins Tidal as the 4th Tidal CEO in roughly 2-and-a-half years after Andy Chen left in April 2015. Interim CEO Peter Tonstad then left 2 months later, spelling concern for the company and it’s future. Fortunately Jeff Toig stepped up as CEO in mid-2015 and until now has kept the position, though the company hasn’t seen any considerable growth or success under his management.

How much Jay-Z remains involved in the music streaming service is questionable, he even forgot he owned it in court last year. Jay has just released his latest album 4:44 showing he’s still in the music, but is he in it beyond an artist perspective?

Spotify are adding 2m users a month as they pass 60m subscribers

It’s been 5 months since Spotify reached the half a million mark for paid subscribers and they’ve already passed 60 million.

Spotify have announced their latest milestone, surpassing 60 million subscribers paying for their Premium tier of music streaming. It’s massively impressive alone but considering Spotify revealed in March the numbers were at 50 million that means that roughly 2 million paying users are joining a month. That’s more in a month than some rival streamers have over all.

Earlier this year in June Spotify had 140 million total active users, including free, ad-supported streamers. This suggests that Spotifys efforts in encouraging people to go Premium are working as they’re nearing 50-50. This is no doubt helping Spotify’s relationship with the music industry which has been rocky in the past but has recently seen the streaming service sign new deals with 2 of the 3 major labels, Sony and Universal, with Warner looking close to finalising.

These incredible numbers will no doubt be boosting Spotify’s ambitions to go public with an IPO. Spotify have been looking to go for an IPO (initial public offering) for a long time now however have been waiting for security to make it a viable move, but with record numbers of growth and fresh new label deals things are looking up for the previously controversial service.

It looks like SoundCloud could be selling majority stakes to 2 different firms

Following ongoing rumours that surfacing recently suggesting that SoundCloud is on its way out (which they vehemently deny) 2 firms may be buying a major share.

SoundCloud had to let go a decent chunk of its staff last month, prompting rumours to circle round the block of their imminent bankruptcy. SoundCloud have said that they aren’t going anywhere, but recent news hasn’t exactly put to bed their alleged issues – though there may be a solution.

Reportedly, two separate private equity firms are looking to take a large stake each that would result in a majority acquisition between the two. Apparently SoundCloud’s co-founder and CEO Alex Ljung has been resistant to sell so far as he doesn’t want to sell to a majority stakeholder. With two investors there is no single majority and therefore retaining more control in Ljung’s hands rather than having to answer to one big entity taking control of the service.

The potential duel investment hasn’t been confirmed yet but has been told to Bloomberg via “people familiar with the matter”. Whilst anonymity doesn’t create the most reliable of sources it seems legit and would make a lot of sense for SoundCloud if they are even partially in the trouble that the industry says they are.

If it is true we should hear about details and terms to the partial acquisition soon. Stay tuned for more SoundCloud news.

Head of YouTube Music says it will merge YouTube Red and Google Play Music into one

YouTube’s man for music, Lyor Cohen, has revealed that they are combining their music streaming service and YouTube’s subscription offering.

Lyor Cohen has spoken on some interesting new plans that have been rumoured for a while now. The merger of both YouTube’s subscription offering, YouTube Red, with Google Play Music – Google’s dedicated music streaming service. Now the head of music at YouTube, Cohen, has confirmed the plans.

Whilst it is unlikely that the services themselves would merge together into one app/website the change would make them both available on the same subscription. Cohen said: “The important thing is combining YouTube Red and Google Play Music, and having one offering.”

YouTube currently has a few different offerings which seem to have confused users, prompting a more aligned offering. YouTube Music is currently an app free for anyone that is dedicated just to music on YouTube. YouTube Red however is paid and takes away ads on videos , lets you watch videos offline, and, most importantly for music lovers, listen to videos with the screen locked.

Google combined the two teams earlier this year, assumably with these plans in mind, so it should be an easy transition. Whilst you currently get either service for free with the other this move will combine the two services into one. Hopefully this also signifies the expansion of YouTube Red which, whilst it has been available for over a year in the US, YouTube Red is still only available in 5 countries. Google Play Music on the other hand has launched in 64 countries.

We just want YouTube Red in the UK already!

The last major label, Warner, is close to a deal with Spotify

After over a year of uncertainty between labels and the music streaming champion, Spotify look ready to close deals with the last major label.

Earlier this year Spotify made their first deal with a major label since their original contracts expired. Their contract with Universal gave Spotify more chance to make profit by slightly reducing their royalties. In return Spotify will “window” certain new releases, making them exclusive to paying Premium subscribers.

Then earlier this month it was revealed that Sony were in talks with Spotify to come to their own conclusive deal. Now the last of “The Big 3” are also reported, by four sources to Reuters, to be in talks with Spotify to come to a licensing deal for their massive catalogue of music being streamed on the platform.

Details of the deal are still limited and from the sources it seems like it depends on how both parties react to the current terms whether we see an agreement sooner rather than later. It is thought that both Sony and Warner will likely be looking to sign similar deals to Universal’s, windowing releases to maintain their value when newly released.

One of the sources said to Reuters: “The negotiations are at a crossroads. There are still a number of key points that remain to be agreed. If we manage to come to terms on these points, then it could lead to a very quick transaction. If not, any deal would remain at bay.”

Spotify have been planning an IPO for a long time but have been waiting for the best time, as the company continues to increase losses year on year despite massive growth in recent years. With deals with the 3 major record labels on the horizon, Spotify will no doubt be looking to launch their IPO fairly soon. That’s hoping talks with the last 2 labels goes well…

Tidal unveil a much-needed update, enhancing music discovery and exploration

Tidal’s mobile app has been given the 2.0 lick of paint bringing it up to date with competitors and making music streaming with Tidal a pleasure.

A much-needed update has come to the mobile app for Jay-Z’s music streaming service, Tidal. Focusing on its visual layout, the update streamlines exploration of the app and makes it easier than ever before to find the latest and greatest music.

The first thing you’ll notice when you open up the app is the new look for the homepage which ditches its limited display of new and top music, now offering a variety of different genres and music. Next you’ll notice how much better the menu looks, with a row of icons at the bottom of the screen replacing the hamburger menu from before. This brings it much more in line with other modern music apps like Apple Music and Spotify; Tidal’s biggest rivals.

The Explore section of the app has gotten a new ‘Genres + Moods’ segment where you can explore music based on how you feel or explore specific genres. The Explore section also now features a suggested artist and album section for recommended music based on your tastes.

When you are playing music you can now simply swipe between the queue and song suggestions from the Now Playing screen rather than having to go through menus. Overall Tidal’s 2.0 mobile app makes the whole experience flow much easier with a new arrangement that makes finding your favourite music and discovering new music better than ever.

Tidal 2.0 is available via update now from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

Google Play Music comes to Apple Carplay, a surprising unity

Apple and Google have put their mobile rivalry aside as Apple’s vehicle interface is now compatible with Google’s music streaming service.

Google Play Music subscribers can now access their music libraries and the rest of the on-demand music streaming service through Apple CarPlay. It’s a surprising move from Apple, who have been famously at odds with Google who develop Android – the primary mobile OS competing with Apple’s iPhones.

Apple CarPlay uses iPhone OS to connect to certain car’s interfaces which can be used for maps, messages, music, audiobooks and certain other limited apps. Google Play Music is the first app from the internet giant to be implemented into CarPlay, however competing music services like Pandora, Slacker and Spotify are available next to Apple’s own Apple Music through the interface.

To connect Google Play Music to Apple CarPlay users must first update to the latest iPhone app and then connect to a car through Wi-Fi or a Lightning cable. Despite Google having their own Android Auto car software, Play Music’s implementation into CarPlay might persuade some to go with Apple.