Spotify update their user and subscriber numbers for Q2 2022

Image Credit: Spotify

Spotify reports their second quarter 2022 financial performance results, highlighting monthly active users and subscribers as of July 2022.

Despite cutting off Russian users earlier this year, as well as the continued pressures felt by households around the world due to inflation and the cost of living crisis, Spotify have seen a growing number of users and subscribers year-over-year and compared to last quarter. You can find the full earnings release here and the webcast Q&A on Spotify’s Investor Relations site here.

Spotify highlights the latest numbers and features introduced over the past quarter on “For the Record”, including:

Listen to Spotify’s audio trailer from some of their top original and exclusive podcasts below.

Find full details on how to upload your own music to Spotify free of charge here.

What does owning your masters mean?

What does “masters” mean? Let’s explore master recordings and what you need to know about them as an artist.

What does it mean to own your masters? Not altogether clear what “masters” have to do with music in the first place? Read on to learn who owns the master recording of a song, how they fit into record label contracts, and who gets master recording royalties.

What are master recordings?

Woman in headphones thinking

Master recording means the original version of a song, sound or performance. Everything subsequent comes from this one sound recording – the master recording or “masters.”

If you’ve written and recorded a track, it’s the song file you have on your computer. As soon as its in a format that can be reproduced, it’s copyrighted, and you can claim ownership of it.

When you own your masters, you have total legal control over what is done with the recording – and any financial gains from it, too. You can license your song for use in films, TV, advertising and for sampling by other artists, and collect the royalties afterwards.

Master recording copyright is held by the performing artists and often their record label.

Record label contracts

In a traditional record contract, a record label often owns the masters of all the songs created in the duration of the deal. If your masters are owned by a label or other party, they have the legal right to license out the sound recording and collect revenue, without having to ask your permission.

Taylor Swift for example is currently re-recording her old albums as a way of regaining creative control after her master recordings were sold without her consent.

Under most label contracts artists only start making sound recording royalties after you’ve earned back your advance – a loan labels give artists in exchange for signing away your rights to your masters. The label has to recoup the costs involved with professionally launching you as an artist.

You need to be sure that what the label is offering is going to work for you. Things like reaching broader audiences, publicity for your music, and a marketing budget. If the record label can’t offer you help for your career that you wouldn’t be able to achieve by yourself, don’t make a rash decision to sign away your masters.

Because when you own your masters, you have full creative control over your music. That’s what being an independent artist is all about.

It might be hard work – everything’s more of a gamble without someone else’s money behind you – but you don’t have to wait around for someone to tell you what to do. That’s the motivational spirit we love at RouteNote.

How to own your masters

With RouteNote’s digital distribution you can release your music whenever you want, for free, and keep ownership of your masters. You have total control over your music, forever.

We’ve partnered with all the major streaming services and stores to get your songs onto Spotify and Apple Music, as well as offering social media monetisation so you can make money when your tracks are used on platforms like TikTok.

Free distribution from RouteNote lets you upload unlimited tracks to streaming services and stores. There’s no complicated contracts to sign – you keep 85% of all royalties you earn when people listen to your songs online. We also offer Premium distribution, letting you keep 100% of revenue for a small fee.

You can switch between Free and Premium at any time and come and go as you please, because you’re never tied down and you’re free to do whatever you want with your music.

Find out more about free distribution from RouteNote today, and get your music out into the world – whilst owning your masters.

Head of Instagram addresses the concerns of changes to the app

The video from Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri likely comes after a viral image asking Instagram to “stop trying to be TikTok”.

Although not directly referencing it, the video came shortly after the image below from photographer Tati Bruening (@illumitati) blew up on social media and received widespread media coverage. Over two million people have liked the “Make Instagram Instagram again” post, while thousands have shared it across other social media and Stories – including the likes of Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian.

The image also links to a petition, which calls for a chronological timeline, less focus on Reels, more focus on photos and “a platform that listens to creators”. At the time of writing, the petition has over 181k signatures, with a target that keeps increasing as more people sign.

The video from Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri first addresses the new full-screen feed some users are seeing. The new layout displays photos and videos in a full-screen view, similar to TikTok’s swipeable vertical feed. Mosseri admits that the test is only with a small number of users and that “it’s not yet good,” as they continue to improve it before shipping it to the rest of Instagram.

Secondly, Mosseri talks on concerns of photos on the platform. As Instagram have made clear over the past year or so, photos are less and less a priority on the social media platform, as the company shift to videos due to the number of users viewing and interacting with them. While Mosseri says “that more and more of Instagram is going to become video over time”, he reassures that the platform will continue to support photos.

Finally, the video touches on recommendations, or posts in your feed from accounts you don’t follow. Recommendations are designed to help promote small creators to new users who want to discover new and interesting things. If you see something you don’t like, you can “X” out the recommendation, snooze all recommendations for up to a month or head to the Following feed.

If you’re an artist, you can upload and monetize your music across Instagram for free when you distribute with RouteNote. Find out full details here.

Facebook’s Home tab goes full TikTok, while Feeds is just for those your follow

Image Credit: Meta

Facebook ditch the News Feed and introduce two new viewing options: Home and Feeds. Choose how many suggested posts you see on Facebook.

Announced by Mark Zuckerberg in a recent post, Facebook are introducing two new feeds.

Home, replacing the News Feed, will be the page you see when opening the app on mobile. Users are presented with a familiar personalized feed of recommended content, Stories and Reels. Stepping up their AI and machine learning, Facebook hope more suggested posts than ever will help claw back some of TikTok’s market.

The brand new Feeds tab brings Facebook back to its roots. You’ll see five options at the top of the screen, letting you filter the results by All, Favorites, Friends, Groups and Pages. Posts are sorted chronologically and free from any suggested posts.

Video Credit: Meta

These changes are a welcome addition and are similar to the recent addition from Instagram made earlier this year, that allows you to switch between Home, Following and Favorites, the latter two with chronological feeds of content from those you care about. In the algorithm-driven, new norm for social media platforms, it’s nice to see a feed of posts from those I choose to follow, rather than what the platform thinks I want to see. Note, there are still a significant number of sponsored posts in these feeds. Personally I’m seeing an ad roughly every third post.

It’s a shame Facebook and Instagram don’t lean into these new viewing options further, by showing Stories at the top from friends (when in Feeds or Following on Facebook or Instagram), or a way to set one view option as the default, so the next time you open the app, you are taken there automatically.

The update is currently rolling out globally. You’ll find Home and Feeds in the shortcut bar on the bottom of the iOS app and top of the Android app. The shortcut bar changes based on what pages you use the most. You can tap and hold any icon to pin or hide, except Home.

Pinning or hiding Feeds on Facebook's shortcuts bar
Image Credit: Meta

Did you know RouteNote help hundreds of thousands of artists upload and monetize their music across Facebook and Instagram for free? Click here to find out more.

Spotify Blend not working? Here’s how to fix it

Image Credit: Spotify

Spotify Blend playlists should change daily. So why does your Blend not seem to be updating as promised?

Are you getting a “Spotify Blend not found” error message on your Blend Spotify playlists? Let’s see if we can fix that.

Spotify Blend should work for both free and premium Spotify subscribers. It combines your music taste with up to 10 friends to create a playlist that shows off all your music tastes – introducing each other to new artists and genres.

It’s a cool feature and annoying when it doesn’t work like it should.

Spotify Blend not updating?

Are the same tracks hanging round for months on end on your Spotify Blend? Sometimes songs on the playlist might say “Added 1 day ago” – despite having been on the playlist for weeks.

Blend works best when you listen to new music, as Spotify is constantly listening, learning from your music tastes to recommend new songs. In order for Blend playlists to update and give a varied mix of songs, you need to be listening to new music that isn’t just from your Made For You mixes or current Blend mix.

Another reason Blend is staying the same could be that you and your friends aren’t liking enough songs or following new artists. Try exploring some new music and you should see the difference in your Blend in a couple of weeks.

When you first Blend with another user or group of friends, the recommendations come from the songs you’re individually listening to at that particular time, and will evolve as you keep liking new songs.

If not, the changes might simply be too subtle to immediately notice, like a difference in the order of the songs.

blend on spotify

Spotify Blend not loading?

If the issue is that your Blend mix isn’t showing up at all – with a “Spotify Blend not found” message or “Something went wrong. Try again” popping up – work your way through this checklist before messaging Spotify’s help forums.

  • Make sure your app is updated to the latest version and clear your cache, then sign in again.
  • Try reinstalling the app.
  • Delete the Blend playlist, and create a fresh one with the same songs.

How to leave a Spotify Blend

One reported error on Spotify is a user being unable to leave a Blend playlist, despite toggling off the green heart or selecting “Remove From Your Library” on the playlist menu.

To solve the problem, check your app is updated, clear your cache. Try “Signing out everywhere” from your Account here, then logging back in and trying again.

Get your songs on Spotify with RouteNote for free and your music could end up brightening up Spotify Blend playlists around the world.

Find out more here.

“All videos moving forward on Instagram are going to be Reels” says Head of Instagram

Image Credit: Instagram

After being rumored for a number of weeks, Instagram confirms they are simplifying videos on the platform by offering just one format.

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri announced a number of updates to Reels in a recent video. Stressing their continued focus on videos, in the coming weeks, going forward, all videos under 15 minutes will be posted to Instagram as Reels. For this reason, all video uploads will get the same Reels editing features and be viewable by anyone in the main Reels tab. Private users’ videos will only be shown to followers. Existing videos won’t become Reels, but the videos tab on your profile is going. All videos on your profile will be found under the Reels tab, as on the image above.

Ignoring Stories and Live videos, since merging IGTV and feed videos, there have been two main video formats on Instagram: Reels and Feed videos. While this latest move will no doubt simplify videos on Instagram, it could lead to a worse experience on Reels overall. Today, Reels are full of short-form, music-focused, fun, looping videos. However not all videos uploaded to Instagram are edited with Reels in mind.

Instagram also announced a number of other smaller updates to Reels, including improvements to Remixes. Remixes allow users to take any existing video on Instagram to build a Reel from it. This latest move allows users to create Remixes from photos. There are also new layout options available, like picture-in-picture, green screen, and horizontal or vertical split-screen. You can now also add a video to the end of an existing Reel. These updates provide a great way for users to add commentary during or after existing videos or photos.

Three screenshots showing the new Reels Remix features
Image Credit: Instagram

Reels will also introduce dual cameras, a BeReal-esque move, which will let Instagram make use of the front and rear cameras on your phone, to record video from both, simultaneously. Finally, there’s some new Reels templates. Templates preload audio and clip placeholders, so all you need to do is drop your own photos or video clips. These are a great option for creators looking for a little inspiration.

Two screenshots showing dual cameras and Reels templates
Image Credit: Instagram

Did you know RouteNote are partnered with Facebook and Instagram to help creators upload and monetize their music across the platforms, free of charge? Click here to find out more.

Pandora launch a new charts website for Top Thumb Hundred, Trendsetters, and Top Spins

Image Credit: Pandora

Pandora Charts is a new website from the Sirius XM-owned, US-based music streaming service, housing all three of their weekly charts.

Pandora have made it easier than ever for anyone to view their three charts. These charts show how Pandora listeners are reacting to content on the platform, providing an insight into popular and emerging artists and tracks.

All three charts show the position of each track/artist, it’s position compared to last week and how many weeks it’s featured. You can play any individual track, the chart as a whole, subscribe for weekly emails or copy the link to share it with friends.

  • Top Thumb Hundred – Published every Sunday afternoon, this chart ranks recent releases based on the number of thumbs up in the last 30 days. Top Thumb Hundred is a great indication of well-received tracks in the first week of release.
  • Trendsetters – Published every Monday afternoon, excluding artists the algorithm considers “mainstream”, Trendsetters lists 100 emerging artists, based on the number of users adding the artist’s station in the last 30 days. This is great way to discover the next big artist.
  • Top Spins – Published every Monday afternoon, this chart features the top 100 spinning songs in the last 30 days. Tracks are removed after sixteen weeks to keep the chart fresh, unless it’s climbing in position, which Pandora calls a “hot streak”.

Find all three charts on Pandora’s new site at

Looking for a free way to upload your own music to Pandora? Use RouteNote to distribute to all the top stores, streaming services and social media platforms.

Head to Pandora AMP to grow your audience and connect with fans.

UK initiative aims to connect music venues with local people

Image Credit: The Guardian

Independent Venue Community aims to strengthen the relationships between independent venues and the communities around them.

By offering daytime music-based programmes, Independent Venue Community aims to make make grassroots clubs more accessible and welcoming to their local neighbours and reach new audiences.

Underserved areas and those with low arts engagement will benefit from the programme. To achieve their mission, IVC’s wants to help venues connect people young, old, deaf, disabled and neurodivergent, LGBTQIA+ and other groups in a respective clubs’ community.

Furthermore, IVC aims to provide education on how venues work behind the scenes too.

IVC’s Soundcheck Sessions have been a big influence on the programme. Soundcheck Sessions allows young people aged 14 and older to access a venue before it opens ahead of a live show. Here, attendees can learn how things work behind the scenes and chat with the crew, artists and industry specialists before the gig.

IVC’s founder Sybil Bell has said “From first hand experience, with initiatives like The Warren Youth Project in Hull or our own Soundcheck Sessions and BE, activity like this can have genuinely life-changing outcomes for people, especially those who don’t normally get access to these kinds of opportunities.

“Ultimately, we want to build a national network of engaged local communities and encourage more music venues to throw their doors open in the day. By doing this, I believe they can increase and diversify the people coming through their doors and unlock significant hidden value and talent.”

When we were coming up, we were one of the only women and people of colour on the bills and in the crowd, a lot of the time. It was isolating and we were often met with confusion or rejection because of some people’s lack of education and experience. Music is for everyone. People should be given the same opportunities regardless of where they are from, their race or sexual orientation. Everyone should feel welcome and have a safe space to enjoy music freely.

Amy Love and Georgia South of Nova Twins, IVC ambassadors

New deal brings iQiyi TV shows to Douyin

Image Credit: Douyin

Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese version, is now licensed to distribute short clips of shows from video streaming platform iQiyi.

Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, has agreed a new deal with iQiyi, a video streamer similar to Netflix. The new partnership means long content like television shows on iQiyi can be recreated as short-form video, and edited and distributed on Douyin.

Douyin, owned by ByteDance, also said it will be cooperate with iQiyi in other areas, although further details of what that might look like were not revealed. The partnership is significant as the two platforms have formally had a frosty relationship, and could mark a truce in a war in which the two sides have thrown claims of copyright violations at each other.

The deal also stretches to Toutiao and Xigua Video, Douyin’s sister platforms, which will be licensed for iQiyi content.

Mr. Yu Gong, Founder, Director and Chief Executive Officer of iQIYI, said: “This is a milestone that showcases the mutual respect and collective efforts in protecting intellectual property. We believe our cooperation will unlock new opportunities that will enrich the online video ecosystem, increase the value of our existing intellectual property, broaden monetization opportunities, and create win-wins for both platforms, content creators, and our users.”

The partnership between iQiyi and Douyin is a significant improvement for licensing in the video content industry. In 2021 the China Netcasting Services Association put a stop to creators sharing extracts from film and TV, banning short-form video platforms like Douyin from sharing them.

Get your music on Douyin with RouteNote!

Simply select TikTok when you upload your tracks. Upload as many songs as you like to all the major streaming platforms and across social media, for free. Head to to find out more.

Check out TME BI for Artists – like Spotify for Artists for Tencent Music

Image Credit: Tencent Music

New TME Business Intelligence for Artists tool gives industry reports, and music data and analytics so artists can see exactly where their streams come from.

TME Business Intelligence for Artists is a new data and analytics platform for artists and teams. The premise is similar to Spotify for Artists, but for Tencent Music platforms.

TME said BI for Artists updates 150 times a day – every 10 minutes – giving tailored stats on audience, songs, albums, chart data, and playlists, in real time.

RouteNote partner Tencent Music Entertainment owns China’s biggest streaming platforms QQ Music, Kuwo, Kugou and karaoke platform WeSing. Artists and their teams, such as music managers, can use TME Business Intelligence for Artists to manage music data across the multiple platforms.

Tencent Music Entertainment said that the data will allow for more targeted promotion and distribution, as well as help with content creation.

In a statement TME said: “TME BI for Artists also presents selected industry news to guide music professionals on emerging market trends. With coverage from music charts to music data, and from individual services to business services, TME BI for Artists aims to promote the healthy development of China’s music industry.”

Data is an important part of music marketing strategy. Seeing exactly which tracks are performing best on which platforms helps music artists to formulate future targets. The idea is that through Tencent BI for Artists, labels and artists can spot industry trends.

The business side of music can seem boring for artists – but thinking of your artist project as a brand is the best shot at success. TME BI for Artists should be a handy tool to help with that. Log in through the website and the WeChat Mini Program.

With RouteNote you can upload your music to Tencent Music for free, releasing unlimited tracks to the top music streaming services in China. You keep 85% of revenue generated – or pay a small fee for RouteNote Premium and keep 100%, always keeping all the rights to your music.

Head here to find out what we can do for your music.