Rap Music’s Popularity In The UK Has Soared Since 2000, according to BPI

Image credit: Nick Haill

Rap, hip-hop & grime has seen a massive boost in popularity in the past few decades and become a mainstream genre in the UK.

The popularity of rap, hip-hop, and grime music in the UK has exploded since the turn of the millennium and accounted for a fifth of all singles listened to last year, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has said. 

UK artists such as S1mba, AJ Tracey, Dave and Skepta have all contributed to the genres success, according to the BPI, with each artist achieving 50 million plays across the UK in 2020. 

The BPI has found that titles classified as rap and hip-hop made 22% of all singles consumed last year, this includes streamed tracks. Albums in this genre found success too with a market share of 12.2%, both figures are an all-time high for the genre. In fact the market share is now six times greater than it was in 2000, according to the BPI. 

For the last six years rap and hip-hop in the UK has grown consecutively in terms of streams and sales. During 2020 seven of the years 21 number one singles were classified as rap and hip-hop, including tracks by UK’s Stormzy, Eminem and Cardi B. 

The rise of the popularity UK is also mirrored by the rise of UK rap artists who accounted for over a third of all rap and hip-hop singles listened to in 2020. 

Speaking on the genres success in the UK, Chief Executive of BPI Geoff Taylor said: “A glimpse of this year’s Brits nominees shows the extent to which rap and hip hop now occupies music’s centre ground.” Adding: “The genre has exploded in recent years, propelled by artists such as Stormzy, Dave and Little Simz, who are creating a new narrative for British music and are leading a rising wave of British talent that is harnessing the power of streaming to achieve chart success.”

More virtual concerts are on Spotify, starting today

Spotify are helping bring fans’ favourite artists into their homes with the introduction of loads more digital concerts from acts everywhere.

Virtual concerts have been a godsend for many of us in the last year, keeping the music alive and the joy of seeing it live whilst we haven’t been able to go out to the venues and stadiums that let us be in the room with it. Without the internet, it would’ve been a whole year without live music for many of us – imagine that!

More than ever, livestreamed music has been embraced by artists and fans alike and performances are being held around the world every day. Last year, Spotify brought virtual concerts onto their music streaming platform through artist pages’ ‘On Tour’ section through Songkick and Ticketmaster. It empowered listeners to find the concerts they could tune in to from the comfort of their living room whenever they landed on their artist profile.

Now Spotify are expanding their ticketing partnerships to include StageIt, Mandolin, NoCap, and nugs.net. Virtual concerts available by artists from these ticketers can now also be added to artist’s pages on Spotify and direct fans to their next truly socially distanced gig. Listings from these companies will be added into Spotify’s personalised emails letting listeners know about virtual events they won’t want to miss.

Artists setting up a virtual even with any of these ticketing companies will need to work with the company to make sure it ends up listed on their Spotify page. Unfortunately, concert listings can’t be done through Spotify for Artists and is still controlled by the third parties that Spotify is partnered with.

Spotify have been listing concerts on artist pages since 2016, giving fans a direct route to seeing their favourite acts in person (or for now, through the screen). Live performances can be an incredible way to engage with your audience, if you’re an artist looking to put on a virtual gig then check out Spotify’s top tips for making it great.

Spotify have now removed 42 episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience, with no comment on why

Spotify continues to remove episodes of the exclusive podcast from their platform. While some feature controversial figures, others have been removed with no explanation.

The Joe Rogan Experience was sold to Spotify in May last year for a reported $100 million. This gave Spotify the exclusive rights to distribute the show on their platform, while at the time it was stressed creative control remained firmly with Rogan and his team. Spotify started moving content onto their platform in September last year. As the transition to began, some pointed out missing episodes, including those with controversial guests, as many blamed Spotify of censorship. At first, missing episodes appeared to simply be delayed, as Spotify transitioned the catalog in chunks. As existing episodes were removed from other platforms in December, it seemed Spotify had purposely omitted these episodes, yet there was no comment as to why.

According to Joe Rogan last month, part of the agreement with Spotify was that they would not publish certain episodes. “There were a few episodes they didn’t want on their platform, and I was like ‘okay, I don’t care’,” explained Rogan in an episode with Fahim Anwar. However, it seems more than “a few” episodes were actually missing. Digital Music News recently reported 40 missing episodes, that never made it onto Spotify. This number jumped to 42 over the course of a week, showing that Spotify may be increasingly quietly removing episodes.

These missing episodes include those with controversial guests such as Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos and Gavin McInnes, as well as all of the episodes featuring guest such as Dave Asprey, David Seaman, Brian Redban, Chris D’Elia, Owen Benjamin, Joey Diaz, Gavin McInnes, and Eddie Bravo who have all appeared on multiple episodes. The reason behind the removal of episodes featuring less controversial figures are unclear and remain unanswered by the streaming platform. It’s unclear whether Rogan is aware of the number of episodes removed.

It seems going forward, as promised, Spotify are taking a hands off approach, as they allowed Alex Jones to feature on a recent episodes.

Strange Fruits takes the top spot with the most followed non-editorial playlist on Spotify

With over 5.3 million followers, Strange Fruits’ lo-fi playlist has more followers than any other non-Spotify playlist.

With a mixture of lofi, hip-hop, chill, tropical house, deep house and dance music, Strange Fruits, along with sub-labels Lofi Fruits and Ambient Fruits distribute their music through RouteNote. With organic growth over 3 to 4 years, the label is a demonstration of the importance of playlist placement and the power of independent music, free from major record companies.

Now with over 5.3 million followers, Strange Fruits’ playlist Lofi Fruits Music 🍉 lofi hip hop music to chill, relax, study, sleep recently over took Lofi Girl’s (formerly ChilledCow) lofi hip hop music – beats to relax/study to with a little under 5.3 million followers. This gives Strange Fruits the most followed non-editorial playlist on Spotify, ahead of all of those from major labels such as Filtr (Sony Music Entertainment), Digster.fm (Universal Music Group) and Topsify (Warner Music Group). As the fastest accelerating non-editorial playlist, with over 340k new followers per month, Strange Fruits should have problem keeping this top spot for months to come.

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3LFIBdP7eZXJKqf3guepZ1?si=f2e06731bd9c41c5

We recently reported that Strange Fruits held the top spot for more followed independent playlist curator. By regularly updating their 85 Spotify playlists, designed to suit various moods and activities, with new music from budding artists, Strange Fruits have managed to pull in over 9.6 million Spotify followers across their playlists. The independent label is third only to Spotify and Sony Music’s Filtr. Strange Fruits currently pull in almost 600k new followers per month across their playlists, an acceleration that could them take the top spot from Filtr as the most popular non-editor playlist curator in no time.

Where independent labels can succeed over the likes of Sony, Universal and Warner, this shows a true shift in the music industry, benefitting the indies.


To be in with a chance of featuring in one of these colossal playlists, submit your own demo to Strange Fruits for free here.

Alternatively, go it alone by uploading your music to Spotify for free.

Click here to find out how to get featured in one of Spotify’s own playlists.

See the top third-party Spotify playlist curators to send your music to here.

Starting a label is easy with a little help from RouteNote.

How to get my music on South Korea’s Vibe

Image credit: Vibe

Add your music to one of South Korea’s largest music service Vibe with RouteNote.

Here at RouteNote, we have extended the global reach of our service with our partnership with YG Entertainments Vibe, one of South Korea’s largest streaming services. You can now have your music heard by a staggering 10 million potential listeners. 

YG Entertainment is a super-label in South Korea that is responsible for the extremely popular PSY, who found massive success with his single ‘Gangnam Style’. South Korea is a huge new market for artists and the music industry in general, a country that is hungry for new music! 

We’ve already been helping get your music to South Korea through Melon and Bugs, two of the leaders in online music for the country. Now, as we add Vibe to our ever-growing list we can help you reach millions of new music fans. 

This is another example of our dedication to getting your music heard as far and wide as possible. We also distribute to Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and many many others. You can sign up for FREE and have your music distributed across the globe here.

Find out more here:

TikTok Adds New Features That Aims To Benefit Music Creators

Image credit: Solen Feyissa

TikTok is doubling down on its roots as a music-focused creation app with the new features.

TikTok has recently added a heap of new music effects for creators, further solidifying its position as a music-focused creation app. The effects offer new interactivity, visualisations, animations, and more and are expected to be rolled out within the next few weeks. It kicks off with the launch of Music Visualizer, an effect that runs a real-time beat track to animate a retro green screen landscape. The new feature has been used in 28,000 videos and the effect results in videos featuring a purple sky with multiple planets in the background and the ground pulses up and down with the music, very Tron. You can use Music Visualizer with any sounds in TikTok’s music library. 

You can also expect the following effects soon: 

Music Machine – An interactive set of tools that will allow users to control the real-time rendering of MIDI loops for different music layers. A BPM slider for real-time adjustments will present, one-shot sound effects, and dynamic visual responses for the video of your recorded music. 

Delayed Beats – This will recreate the freeze-frame effect that’s already popular on TikTok while aligning transitions to the beat of the music. 

Text Beats – Get ready to add animated text overlays to videos that transition in sync with the beat of any sound from TikTok’s expanding library. 

Solid Beats – Allows for visual effects that sync to the beat of any song. 

Mirror Beats – You’ll be able to align display transitions with the beat of any song from TikTok’s library. 

These new features coincidently follow the arrival of several new TikTok competitors from major social media networks, such as Instagram’s Reels, Snapchats Spotlight and, YouTube Shorts.

The new effects will be available in the dedicated “Music” tab within TikTok’s Creative Effects tray. 

Spotify’s ‘On Repeat’ playlist has powered 12 billion streams!

Image Credit: Spotify

In just two years Spotify have racked up an incredible 12 billion streams on listeners’ On Repeat playlists, spinning people’s favourite tracks over and over again.

Launched in 2019, ‘On Repeat‘ is one of Spotify’s personalised playlists that tunes itself to each listener with a selection of songs made just for them. The purpose of ‘On Repeat’? Well it’s the songs you just don’t want to stop listening to, of course. The tracks that people just want to listen to on repeat.

It’s hit the right mark with listeners clearly, who can’t get enough of their favourite tunes. The playlist offers a mix of tracks to listeners based on what they’ve listened to most in the last 30 days. Spotify have revealed that On Repeat has enabled over 12 billion streams with more than 750 million hours listened to on that playlist alone.

It’s a testament to the incredible power of playlists which make up a huge amount of the already huge number of streams people make every day on top services like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and many more. Playlists have spiritually replaced radio as a place to discover new music that suits people’s tastes personally but offers so much more potential, as seen in this playlist which offers people more of what they’re currently loving.

Their celebration of the huge listening impact from the playlist comes just one week after they announced that they will be opening On Repeat up for brands to sponsor. The new offering for brands will allow them to place their brand on the playlist for that week as the On Repeat sponsor replacing the usual ads for Free users with purely that company’s.

To celebrate the huge milestone of listeners on On Repeat, Spotify have shared the music that gets played on repeat the most:

Top Tracks:

  1. Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd
  2. Dance Monkey” by Tones and I 
  3. Circles” by Post Malone 
  4. Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa
  5. Señorita” by Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes

Top Artists:

  1. Bad Bunny
  2. The Weeknd
  3. Post Malone
  4. J Balvin
  5. Ariana Grande

SoundCloud’s new president promises evolution into ‘next-generation’

Image Credit: SoundCloud

SoundCloud have announced Eliah Seton taking on the role of President as the community-driven music platform looks to evolve in a new generation of independent artists.

Eliah Seton takes his role as President of SoundCloud on May 1st, reporting directly to their Chief Executive Officer, Michael Weissman. He will manage their business strategy, oversee content partnerships and business development, lead mergers and acquisitions, and be responsible for the company’s distribution and artist services businesses, Repost by SoundCloud and Repost Select.

SoundCloud state that they are looking to evolve into a ‘next-generation music entertainment company’ with independent artists at the forefront. Having long been a platform to breed the creativity and potential success of independent artists, SoundCloud have recently been exploring new avenues to bolster this including a new User Centric Payment System which promises the potential to more (certainly fairer) for smaller artists.

Seton said of his new role: “I am so excited to partner with Mike and the team in helping to lead the future of this iconic business. SoundCloud has always been on the cutting edge of innovation and is simply the gold standard for independence in music. The possibilities for SoundCloud and for artists, labels and entrepreneurs everywhere are endless, and I am proud to join this extraordinary team and community.”

The new role of Seton follows the recent news that Drew Wilson would take on the role of Chief Operating and Chief Financial Officer at SoundCloud, a role he stepped into on April 1st. It seems to be a period of re-shuffling at SoundCloud and they all seem to be very excited about their potential and endeavours to come in the future.

Speaking on Seton, CEO Michael Weissman said: “Eliah’s passion for music and his innovative spirit combined with his deep industry experience in delivering world class services to the global music community is exactly the expertise and mindset that will help transform SoundCloud into the leading music entertainment company. I couldn’t be more excited to work with Eliah, an extraordinarily skilled business executive and wonderful person, to forge our company’s strategic path, deepen our artist and industry relationships, and create even more opportunities for artists to grow and earn throughout their careers on SoundCloud.”

Spotify update Promo Cards – Share when you’re added to a new playlists, hit a follower/chart milestone and more

An update to Spotify for Artists’ microsite Promo Cards adds new highly requested cards, helping independent artist market their music online.

Introduced last October, Spotify’s Promo Cards makes creating eye-catching, social media assets for releases, playlist inclusion, artist profiles and podcasts super easy. The graphics created are customisable are shareable with just a few clicks. Simply head to the microsite, search for any song, album, artist profile, podcast show or podcast episode, then you can switch orientation, aspect ratio and background colour before sharing the card on socials.

Spotify say artists love the feature and hundreds of thousands have been created and shared around the world. Today, Spotify are adding some of the top requested features to the tool.

Milestone Cards
Artist Follower Milestones

You can now create cards when your artist profile hits a new follower milestone. This includes: 1k, 5k, 10k, 25k, 50k, 100k, 500k, 1M, 2M, 5M, 10M, 20M, 25M, 50M, and 100M followers.

2 — Follower Cards

Charts Milestones

You’ll see new cards if one of your tracks reaches the top 50 of the Top Songs – Global weekly chart. The card features both the track artwork and the chart position.


More Playlists

Playlist cards promotes when your single had been added to one of Spotify’s 35 playlists. Today Spotify are adding 30 new playlists cards including 100, Altar, Baila Reggaeton, Hot Hits USA, Indienesia, It’s Hits (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Suomi), Fresh Folk, Fresh Gospel, Kickass Metal, K-Pop Daebak, Lagi Viral, New Music Friday Christian, Live Country, Mood Booster, Naik Daun, No Cap, Northern Bars, Our Generation, Oyster, Radar Indonesia, Punjabi 101, Top Christian, Top Hits Indonesia, Who We Be, and WorshipNow.


Promo Cards Site, Now in French

The Promo Cards site is now available in French, as well as English, Spanish, Portugese and German.


New Release Badge

If a release was published in the past seven days, a badge will now indicate the track is new.


Deep-linking to Promo Cards

As you navigate the microsite, the URL will update as you find your card and make changes. This means you can share unfinished cards with collaborators prior to publishing.


Anyone can create a Promo Card even if you don’t use Spotify for Artists or aren’t the artist. You don’t need access to an artist’s profile or podcast, making it easy for collaborators, podcast guests or simply fans to create cards.

Click here for instruction on how to create, download and share assets.

Amazon Music app gets Car Mode – a simplified interface for driving

Image Credit: Amazon

The latest update for the Amazon Music app on iOS and Android makes text larger, simplifies controls, offers customisable presets and encourages voice control with Alexa.

Car Mode, the latest addition to streaming service Amazon Music makes accessing music on the go easier while staying safe on the road. The simplified interface is great for cars with older head units.

If Amazon Music detects a Bluetooth connection to your car, Car Mode will automatically be enabled. This preference can be turned off in the settings. Simply tap the cog in the upper right corner, tap Settings, then Car Mode to toggle preferences. Car Mode will be automatically disabled once the Bluetooth connection is lost.


To turn Car Mode on manually, tap the cog in the upper right corner, then touch Car Mode. To Exit Car Mode tap the exit button in the upper left corner.

With Car Mode, users can swipe to skip tracks. Large shortcuts offer quick access to popular music, as well as your favourite stations, playlists and albums with just a tap. You can add new presets in the overflow menu. Removing presets is as easy as a swipe to the left.

Amazon Music Car Mode

Car Mode on Amazon Music is available across all subscription tiers. Currently the feature only highlights music. Amazon says podcast support is coming soon.

The feature is similar to Car View that debuted on Spotify in 2019. This news comes as Spotify continue to leak Car Thing, the streaming service’s in-car music player.