You can make money on Spotify with rebranded Fan Support feature

Image Credit: Spotify

Where have Artist Fundraising Picks gone on Spotify? Never fear, they’ve just been replaced with Fan Support.

“Tip jar” for artists Artist Fundraising Pick on Spotify has been officially renamed Fan Support. The streaming platform says the name change reflects the shift in how artists are using the feature to earn money on Spotify.

Spotify’s Artist Fundraising Pick was launched in 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to allow listeners to donate to a charitable cause displayed on a Spotify artist’s profile. As artist incomes were squeezed by restrictions on live events, many artists also used their Pick to ask for monetary support from their fans.

To date fans have clicked through on the links over 50 million times. Spotify says of the 200,000 artists previously using a Fundraising Pick the vast majority use it to ask for contributions from fans towards their career, with the remaining 10% raising money for charity.

Artists are clearly in need of the feature that offers both a way for them to earn some extra cash and also gives fans a chance to show their appreciation beyond streaming new releases and listening again to old favourites.

In a statement, Spotify said: “With Fan Support, fans have an opportunity to directly support the artists they love and also get behind causes that artists care about most. At the same time, artists have the flexibility and freedom to respond to the world around them, welcoming fan tips one week and rallying them around a global cause the next.”

Want your music on Spotify for free? Sign up with RouteNote. For 15 years we’ve worked with independent artists and record labels to send their songs around the world.

Head here to find out more and start making money from your music today.

Roblox Kpop park launches on Spotify Island experience

Image Credit: Spotify

Spotify is now on Roblox with its Spotify Island experience, where fans and artists can meet in virtual form – and there’s now an area dedicated to K-pop.

Spotify has created a virtual universe on Roblox, teaming up with the gaming platform to make its own experience, Spotify Island. The first theme is K-Park, an experience within the space themed around K-Pop, including Kpop Roblox games and a music-maker.

Spotify Island is the first of a series of areas that Spotify says will appear throughout the year. Within the network of islands will be music-themed games, themed experiences and the chance for fans to interact with artists.

The first “themed experience” is the K-Park area, dedicated to the K-Pop genre. Stray Kids and SUNMI are the first artists to feature.

Players can make K-pop beats at the Soundtrap station. There’s food-themed elements like the Bubble Tea waterfall and K-Café where users can meet other fans, as well as games including the Rainbow Boba Straw.

What is Roblox? Roblox is a free online universe where users can hang out together in a virtual space and play games. Within the platform, there’s the potential for music artists to connect with fans remotely, appearing as avatars, playing virtual shows and hanging out with fans in backstage areas.

Spotify says any profits through virtual merchandise will go straight back to the artists. In the past, Roblox has seen virtual concerts by a range of artists such as Lil Nas X, 24KGoldn, and Royal Blood. During the pandemic, these sorts of live streamed virtual experiences were especially helpful for artists who couldn’t connect with fans in person.

What links the island to Spotify? The branding is there – users can collect the Spotify “Like” button in exchange for merch for their avatar. Players can collect points and climb to the top of “The Charts.”

Players also create music using virtual beat-making stations within the island, with beats provided by Soundtrap, Spotify’s online DAW. Gamified music creation is already popular on Roblox, including the Splash world in which players use AI-powered tools to make and perform live music.

Check out the island here, and stream a themed Spotify playlist below:

Want to put your music on Spotify? Check out RouteNote. We distribute to all the biggest music streaming services, including Spotify, giving your songs worldwide reach. And the best part is, it’s free.

Head here to find out what RouteNote can do for you and your music.

Check out this new R&B release from hip hop music artist Jeffrey Oliver

Image Credit: Losertown

We love to shout about brand new music distributed through RouteNote. Listen to “Not My Friends,” the new release from hip hop and R&B artist Jeffrey Oliver, released by Losertown.

Jeffrey Oliver is confident fans will be pleasantly surprised with his new sound heard in brand-new single “Not My Friends,” out today on Spotify and major platforms from Losertown, and distributed by RouteNote.

Image Credit: Markus Amnegard

“Not My Friends” features vocals that draw on his own experiences, over an alternative R&B hip hop type beat.

Oliver gained loyal fans from releasing emo-rap songs, including the wildly popular “No Time,” which currently has 1 million streams on Spotify. The new song “Not My Friends” is the first time fans will have heard Oliver’s new sound.

A Swedish artist and producer, Oliver has over 32,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. “Not My Friends” marks a new direction for Oliver, moving away from emo-rap, but keeping the same sincere lyrical style as previous tracks.

Stream “Not My Friends” here! And watch out for the official music video, dropping soon.

Are you an artist who wants to release your music online? Sign up to RouteNote and release your tracks to all the major streaming services, including Spotify and Apple Music – for free. Find out more here.

Top affordable studio monitors for professional music-making

Image Credit: Simbolics

Near field monitors present little details that we may not notice in our headphones. But professional speakers often have high prices, so affordable studio speakers allow beginners to dip their toes in.

Studio monitors, otherwise known as near field monitors or reference monitors, are the best friend of music producers and artists. Unlike consumer-grade speakers which are often passive like hi-fi, studio monitors are active. Active speakers have an internal amplifier whereas passive systems draw power from an external one. Another difference is that amplification comes after the crossover splits the frequencies into different bands for the drivers. As a result, the reproduction of the signal is far more accurate to an original signal than passive systems – where the amplification occurs before the frequency split – which makes them perfect for monitoring your music.

Bigger drivers may allow for more volume, but that doesn’t mean small studio monitors are redundant. On the contrary, cheap near field monitors will inevitably give you a taste for detailed sound reproduction. And it’s likely that your studio is only a small space – where smaller near field monitors are an optimal choice. However, unless the monitors you choose have RCA inputs then you will need to invest in an audio interface. Though headphones are useful, powered near field monitors allow you experience the full soundstage – from stereo width to immersive depth – of your music.

1. M-Audio BX5 D3 – the best affordable studio monitors for home recording

  • $276
  • Frequency response: 52 Hz to 35 kHz
  • High-frequency tuning options
  • Rear resonance port
  • One-inch silk-domed tweeter
  • Five-inch woven Kevlar woofer
  • Crossover: 2.5 kHz
  • Input sensitivity: -10 dBu
The M-Audio BX5 D3 studio monitors are the best affordable reference monitors.
Image Credit: MusicRadar

Fans of the M-Audio BX series will notice the similarities between the D3’s and previous models. For example, the D3’s one-inch silk-domed tweeter and five-inch woven Kevlar woofer are both inherited from the previous BX5’s. We think the M-Audio BX5 D3 studio monitors are the best near field monitors for small budgets thanks to their build and tuning options.

Both the woofer and tweeter are magnetically shielded, and the rear bass port enhances the projection of low-end without straining the speaker driver. Also on the back of the speaker sits a variety of controls and inputs. These include a Volume control, both XLR and 1/4″ jack inputs, and settings for adjusting the output of low end (Flat, -2dB and -4dB) depending on the acoustic space and positioning of monitors. What’s special about the BX5 D3s is that you can connect both the XLR and 1/4″ jack inputs simultaneously.

The M-Audio BX5 D3 monitors have TRS and XLR inputs and present high frequency tuning options too.
Image Credit: Gear4Music

Like with previous models, the bass port does hype frequencies a little too much. Therefore you may find you’ll have to use the -2dB Acoustic Space setting.

M-Audio has upgraded the onboard Class AB bi-amplification. Now, the woofer receives 60 Watts and the tweeter 40 Watts – with the frequency crossover at 2.5kHz. Around the woofer and tweeter is a ring of rubber, just like previous models too. The tweeter, though, has seen a bit of an upgrade. It’s got a new and improved tweeter waveguide which allows for a broader dispersion of sound. As a result, the listening sweet spot is wider.

2. KRK Classic 5 – the best studio monitors for electronic music production

  • $269
  • Frequency response: 46 Hz- 34.5 kHz
  • High and low-frequency tuning options
  • Front-resonance port
  • 1″ textile soft dome tweeter
  • 5″ glass aramid composite woofer
  •  0 dBu
The KRK Classic 5's are the best studio monitors for electronic music production.
Image Credit: Absolute Music

The Classic 5 monitors have a 5-inch woofer that does deliver some solid bass. A slight flaw is that the mids do lack ever so slightly, but the soft dome tweeter does give a crisp high end that sounds fantastic. The woofers and tweeters themselves are made with high-density foam pads that isolate the sound from the surface. The monitors are also bi-amplified with an automatic limiter to help prevent blowouts. They feature a low resonance enclosure, so you get a cleaner sound.

Though the mids do lack slightly, this won’t matter too much when you’re just starting out. It’s unlikely that you’ll be mixing complicated music with a lot of tracks. But if you find that the lack of mids is holding you back, you can get yourself some studio headphones for a reference. With these two tools, you’ll notice all the little details that matter. With that said, using both studio monitors and professional-grade headphones is always a good idea if you want a professional mix.

The KRK Classic 5 monitors have XLR, RCA and TRS inputs. Both high and low frequency tuning options are available too.
Image Credit: KRK Music

Furthermore, on the rear are both high and low-frequency controls for adjusting the sound depending on your acoustic space like the D3s. Inputs include 1/4″ jack, XLR, and RCA connections. So the Classic 5’s are great for musicians, producers, and DJs!

3. JBL 305P MKII – best studio monitors for a good listening sweet spot

  • $298
  • Frequency response: 43 Hz – 24 kHz
  • High-frequency tuning and boundary EQ
  • Rear resonance port
  • Patented Image Control Waveguide for detailed imaging and a broad, room-friendly sweet spot
The JVL 305P MKII monitors have JBL's Patented Image Control Waveguide for detailed imaging and a broad, room-friendly sweet spot.
Image Credit: JBL

In the 305P MKII, JBL’s own patented Image Control Waveguide allows for a wider listening spot than other studio monitors – especially at this price point.

Moreover, the low-frequency response offers more low-end than previous models so over-compensating in the mix stage is less likely. Like with the Mackie’s, using headphones as a reference will help you in this mission too. However, when it comes to sound quality JBL has included technology they have previously developed for their higher-end studio monitors. The double-flared port allows for more precise projection of low-end without straining the woofer as just one example. Despite this, you may notice a slight hiss while playing music at lower volumes. It isn’t uncommon for studio monitor drivers to give a slight hiss, but at higher volumes, you won’t notice it.

The 305P MKII monitors have both TRS and XLR inputs. A Boundary EQ allows you to adjust the output level depending on your space, and high frequency tuning is available too. You can also adjust the input sensitivity by +4 or -1- dBv.
Image Credit: Thomann

The JBL 305P can reach a maximum output of 108dB. That’ll be plenty loud in a small studio, but it’ll suit medium-sized studios too. In a bigger sized room studio, a subwoofer will be a good idea – just be sure to turn it off when you’re mixing mids and highs. But a better option for bigger studios may be looking at 8-inch studio monitors rather than 5-inch ones.

4. Mackie CR4-X – most affordable studio monitor speakers

  • $149.99
  • Frequency response: 65Hz – 20kHz
  • Rear resonance port
The Mackie CR4-X's are the most affordable studio monitor speakers.
Image Credit: Thomann

With the idea of using both studio monitors and studio headphones to record and make music in mind, let’s talk about the CR4-X. The bass response is a little pronounced in these entry-level speakers, so making use of headphones will be important if you don’t want to undercompensate on your bass channels. Unlike other monitors on our list, there is no tuning available.

With that said, the CR4-X speakers are really better suited to multimedia applications. But at this price point, they will certainly do the job while recording and producing music. In contrast to the bass response, the mid frequencies are transparent and present a defined difference between tones. As for the high frequencies, they’re sharp and don’t present any harshness.

One thing you can do to improve your experience is to invest in better cables. The provided tables are a little… underwhelming. But the sound quality will improve with better quality cables, as is the case with a lot of other stock studio monitor cables.

The CR4-X monitors have both TRS and RCA inputs, but they have no tuning options. The rear bass port allows for low-end projection, but you'll need to be mindful about placement in front of a wall.
Image Credit: Mackie

The Mackie CR4-X studio monitors have a 4-inch polypropylene-coated woofer, and a 0.75” ferrofluid-cooled silk dome tweeter. Silk is a desirable material for tweeters as it tends to reproduce high frequencies with better quality. The woofer, though, also delivers a crisp and punchy sound. On the back is a bass port which projects the low-end frequencies well with enough depth too.

5. PreSonus Eris E5 – best near field monitors for small studios

  • $249
  • Frequency response: 53 Hz – 22 kHz
  • Front resonance port
  • High and mid tuning options
The PreSonus Eris E5's are the best near field monitors for small studios.
Image Credit: Thomann

Finally, we have the Presonus Eris E5. Their frequency response is fairly flat, and they have well-defined mids. However, despite their crisp highs, these could do with a little adjustment if you want them to be closer to flat – which of course you do. But the bass frequencies aren’t as well defined as the mids. Yet the Eris E5 studio monitors will display details that you may have previously missed. At just 10.2 lbs. (4.63kg), these monitors are pretty lightweight too.

At this price point, it’s nice to see Kevlar low-frequency inducers as in the M-Audio BX5s. This is a strong heat-resistant material, and you’ll find it in many – if not all – high-end speakers. You’ll find your speakers continue to perform with ease over long periods of time. With this material too. And despite extra shielding for minimizing interference, you may still notice a hiss at low volume as with other speakers we’ve mentioned.

The Eris E5 monitors have both mid and high frequency tuning options, and inputs include TRS, XLR and RCA.
Image Credit: Gear4Music

The Eris E5’s peak at 102dB, so they’re not overbearingly loud. Again, this makes them a good choice for smaller studios. The low/mid-woofer has a size of 5.25 inches. For its size, it produces a punchy low-end and kicks are also well defined!

You can make mid and high EQ adjustments at the rear of the speaker with knobs. If your studio has reflective surfaces and no sound treatment you’ll want to attenuate these knobs. Coupled with good monitor placement, changing the acoustic space with these controls enables you to take full control over the sound of your monitors. In addition, the speakers have a front bass port – so you don’t need to worry about the rear wall quite so much.

Amazon Music Argentina is now available – how much does it cost?

Image Credit: Amazon

The Amazon Music Unlimited Argentina launch expands its Latin American reach. How much does Amazon Music cost and is HD streaming available in Argentina?

Is Amazon Music available in Argentina? Yes! The Amazon Music country list recently expanded to include Argentina, bringing an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription tier to the region for the first time.

90 million songs are now available to stream on the platform. The Argentinian launch in adds another country to Amazon Music’s Latin American collection – Amazon Music Unlimited was made available in Chile and Colombia in November 2021.

How much is Amazon Music in Argentina?

amazon music

Amazon Music Unlimited in Argentina costs ARS $279 a month for an Individual Plan. A single device plan costs ARS $99, allowing unlimited streaming of one Echo International Device. The Family Plan option meanwhile is ARS $489 monthly – six family members can use the subscription at a time.

You can sign up to Amazon Music for free with a three month free trial for a limited time.

Users can stream in HD on Amazon Music for no extra charge. A limited version of Amazon Music is also available for everybody for free with adverts, with a selection of radio stations and playlists available to listen to.

Along with the launch comes a new selection of curated playlists to promote Argentinian music artists and those further afield. Flow Argento showcases Argentinian rappers and trap music, and Mate en la Mañana is a playlist of international releases. Weekly releases feature on Cumbia al Sur, and Clásicos Rock Argentino is a rock music mix.

Director of Latin America for Amazon Music Federico Pedersen said: “We’re so proud to continue to expand the reach of Amazon Music in Latin America and bring fans more ways of engaging with their favorite artists, both new and current favorites.

“Argentina has a rich and diverse cultural heritage that is reflected in its musical talent. We’re excited to bring customers a wide range of locally and globally curated content, including podcasts, playlists, and stations.”

Check out our full guide to Amazon Music, for listeners and artists, here!

Want your songs on Amazon Music so people in Argentina and around the world can stream your tracks? Sign up to RouteNote.

With free music distribution unsigned artists can put their music on all the major streaming services, as well as monetizing tracks across social media. Find out more here.

Which album has the most first-day streams on Apple Music in 2022?

Image Credit: Apple Music

Kendrick Lamar’s “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers” just broke Apple Music’s record for most first-day streams of an album released in 2022.

Unfortunately Apple Music doesn’t share streaming numbers, so it’s unclear to see how the top albums on the streaming service stack up. However, in a Tweet, Apple Music says Kendrick Lamar has earned the most first-day streams for an album released in 2022, with the release of the American rapper’s fifth studio album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers.

Apple Music subscribers can stream the album in full below.

Click here to see the albums with the most first-day streams on Spotify.

Get your own music on Apple Music for free with RouteNote.

How to change music distributor from Spinnup to RouteNote

Can you switch music distributors now Spinnup is going invite-only? Yes. Transfer your music from Spinnup to RouteNote easily and for free. Here’s how.

Is Spinnup distribution kicking you out? Don’t lose your streams, artist page and all the hard work you’ve put into building your music brand! You need to move to an alternative distributor.

Switch from Spinnup to RouteNote distribution. Spinnup, owned by Universal Music Group, is moving to a curated invite-only model and has told its existing smaller artists their music will be taken down from platforms like Spotify.

This kind of favouritism is completely against our ethos here at RouteNote, where we offer free distribution for all indie artists who want to get their music heard, across every major platform from Apple Music to Amazon.

Spinnup's statement as it shift away from DIY distribution

Why should you choose RouteNote vs another distributor? RouteNote distribution removes all the barriers for entry to artists who want to get their music heard.

Covering 95% of the digital market and protecting your music on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, RouteNote lets you stay completely in control of your music – and it’s easy to switch over from Spinnup.  

How to transfer your music from Spinnup to RouteNote

There’s a couple of steps you have to take before you can switch to RouteNote from another distributor, but it’s a really simple process and you won’t lose any of your existing music:

Spinnup artists have until July 19th 2022 to transfer your music from Spinnup. You can’t upload duplicates to another distributor, so you’ll have to remove your music from Spinnup and have it taken down from streaming services and stores before you upload to RouteNote.

Spinnup has provided its own advice for switching music distributor here. Download your release files from Spinnup on My Releases tab. You can’t download your assets once your releases have been taken down by Spinnup.

Your music will stay on the same artist pages as when you distributed through Spinnup.

It’s vital to make note of your track metadata like ISRC and UPCs, so when you re-upload your music your tracks match, and you don’t lose your streams. Once you’ve released your tracks, check the plays to make sure they matched up correctly.

Is RouteNote free?

Any independent artist or label, big or small, can sign up to RouteNote Free or Premium distribution. Our Free music distribution is free forever – you keep 85% of revenues, and you never sign away the rights to your music.

Our Premium distribution makes RouteNote one of the cheapest music distributors. With Premium you keep 100% of your revenue for a small fee. You can switch between the two tiers or move distributors whenever you want. You’re never locked in.

There’s no surprise fees with RouteNote – you can upload unlimited tracks and artists and distribute to as many stores as you like, as well as protecting your music on YouTube with Content ID and monetising on social media like TikTok, without paying a penny more.

Whether on Free or Premium, our features are free – for example, you can select exactly when your release will go live for no extra charge, unlike DistroKid.

Your music is worth saving. Head here to find out more about what RouteNote can offer.

UMG’s distribution service Spinnup goes invite-only and “can’t accommodate all current Spinnup users”

“Spinnup is changing from an open DIY music distribution service” and “reducing the number of artists on the platform”.

Universal Music Group owned digital music distribution service Spinnup, were open to all artists looking to share their music to stores and streaming services. In a move kicking many artists off the platform, Spinnup are shifting their business model in a major way.

“On July 19th 2022, Spinnup is changing from an open DIY music distribution service to a curated artist discovery and distribution platform. This means we will be reducing the number of artists on the platform as we move into this new chapter.

Artists who are leaving Spinnup are being asked to takedown their releases and transfer to a new distributor by July 19th 2022, after that date we will need to begin taking down any remaining live releases from departing artists.”

“Spinnup is evolving into a fully curated invite-only artist discovery and music distribution platform. This change means we can’t accommodate all current Spinnup users.”

Spinnup on an FAQ page

Much like Stem, and AWAL – who partnered with Sony Music last year, an invite-only system, along with pricey upfront fees, make it near impossible for artists starting out to release their music online. According to Music Business Worldwide, AWAL are thought to reject roughly nine in every ten tracks submitted. It’s no surprise then, Spinnup’s move has received a significant amoung of backlash on social media.

A free and open Spinnup alternative

There is a solution for artists being forced off Spinnup. RouteNote provides free music distribution, for artists of all sizes and genres, without the barriers to entry. Artists always keep 100% of the rights! Watch the video below or click here to learn how to switch distributors, while keeping your hard earned statistics and artist pages.

Bad Bunny breaks Drake’s record as the most-streamed artist in one day on Spotify

Image Credit: Spotify

On release day of his new album, Bad Bunny was streamed 183 million times on Spotify, beating Drake’s record of 176.8 million daily streams.

Puerto Rican rapper and singer Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, better known as Bad Bunny, recently dropped his fifth album Un Verano Sin Ti (“a summer without you”). As well as breaking the record as the most streamed artist in a single day, Bad Bunny saw all 23 tracks from the album in the top 30 of Spotify’s Daily Top Song Global Chart, with 9 in the top 10. Of course, none of this is surprising, with Bad Bunny being the most-streamed artist on Spotify in 2020 and 2021.

Spotify report, Bad Bunny now has over 35 billion total streams, by more than 344 million listeners. This new album’s release has pushed Bad Bunny above Ed Sheeran as the second most-streamed and estimated highest earning artist of all-time on Spotify, as well as the second biggest artist in the world.

The vibe in this album is so it can be your summer playlist. I personally see it like that album you play when you go on vacation to an island and you’re on the beach all day. Then you go back to your vacation resort and put it on while you’re getting ready to go for a late dinner with your friends. And on your way to that dinner you ask the driver to play the album again.

The album is very versatile, very Bad Bunny. But the versatility is different from the others; this one has different sounds—reggaeton, dembow, reggae influence, afro beats—and all of them relate to the Caribbean beats. They all feel happy and you want to dance to them.

Bad Bunny told Spotify’s For the Record

Looking to break Bad Bunny’s record with your own music? Upload to Spotify today for free via RouteNote.

Top 10 most-streamed artists of all-time on Spotify in 2022

Rather than Spotify’s monthly listeners, we take a look at the all-time streams of every track from artists’ catalogues.

Monthly listeners are a great way to see which artists are currently popular on the streaming service, whereas this list is a great way to see the most popular artists in the last decade (since streaming’s growth). Find more Spotify top tens such as the most-streamed tracks of 2021, most-streamed songs of the summer, most-streamed songs in a single day and the most-streamed female artists by monthly listeners.

An artist’s all-time streams aren’t shared by Spotify with the public, so this data comes from ChartMasters. Updated daily, ChartMasters explain their methodology and admit the full list of 1,000 artists may not be 100% accurate. Their data is “based on streams from tracks available inside their personal page’s sections Albums, Singles and Compilations. They are combined together and defined as “Lead streams”.” Appears on streams such as featured tracks are not counted towards lead streams or the ranking, but this number is listed.

First up is Drake, with a whopping 46 billion streams.

1. Drake

  • Lead streams: 46,697,543,955
  • Featured streams: 18,001,099,588
  • Number of tracks: 248

The number two most played Spotify artist

2. Bad Bunny

  • Lead streams: 35,843,162,498
  • Featured streams: 4,620,978,012
  • Number of tracks: 164

3. Ed Sheeran

  • Lead streams: 35,801,925,406
  • Featured streams: 2,577,800,261
  • Number of tracks: 230

The number four most played Spotify artist

4. The Weeknd

  • Lead streams: 31,588,739,684
  • Featured streams: 3,963,254,649
  • Number of tracks: 180

5. Ariana Grande

  • Lead streams: 30,689,233,907
  • Featured streams: 1,964,296,072
  • Number of tracks: 181

6. Justin Bieber

  • Lead streams: 30,250,265,777
  • Featured streams: 10,588,515,720
  • Number of tracks: 224

7. Taylor Swift

  • Lead streams: 28,852,695,444
  • Featured streams: 395,228,397
  • Number of tracks: 320

8. Eminem

  • Lead streams: 28,368,411,475
  • Featured streams: 3,977,418,440
  • Number of tracks: 279

9. Post Malone

  • Lead streams: 27,852,251,588
  • Featured streams: 2,331,533,785
  • Number of tracks: 83

The number ten most played Spotify artist

10. BTS

  • Lead streams: 25,546,119,271
  • Featured streams: 199,545,522
  • Number of tracks: 253

RouteNote help independent artists and labels get their own music on Spotify are many more platforms for free.