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Spotify’s algorithm personalises music recommendations, but does it actually help artists and how does it work?

In music streaming, we find an artist’s great potential. But also, their biggest challenge. Reaching a global audience is never easier than now with free distribution from platforms like RouteNote to the top streamers. However, the same issue as always remains for musicians: Getting heard.

More than 18% of the streams on Spotify have come from algorithmic playlists since 2015. That’s according to the results of a study by Your Music Marketing, which explored how algorithms are really playing into music consumption.

Algorithmic playlists are those which are developed not by a human tastemaker, but by Spotify’s algorithm. It bases its presentation on what a user listens to and is therefore personalised to each listener. This includes playlists like Discover Weekly, Release Radar, and Daily Mix.

The use of algorithmic playlists has grown in recent years, making up over 21% of total streams in the last 12 months. The study found that their influence had grown by 12% in 2023. Your Music Marketing used this data to shape an estimate of the influence that algorithm has on artists.

They are fantastic for listeners, who can explore new music with ease knowing that the recommendations are tailored to their tastes and not random. This is also a boon for the artists, who get promoted to the audiences most likely to enjoy their music. This can translate to superfans, meaning revenue from merch sales and concert tickets.

How much money does Spotify’s algorithm make for artists?

Spotify makes up a significant 31% portion of the global music streaming market. This amounts to 5.425 billion dollars. We can use this revenue to generate a rough estimate of how much money Spotify’s algorithms are driving beyond active listening.

The Spotify algorithm earns between 858 million and 1.16 billion dollars, according to an estimate by Your Music Marketing. This represents a potential 3-4% of the total revenue in the music streaming industry. That’s twice the total share of Deezer within the market – 2%.

That’s a significant portion of revenue generated for artists through Spotify’s algorithms. The algorithm additionally works for artists as a fantastic promotional tool. Presenting new listeners with their music based on their tastes not only offers free exposure but also tips the promotion towards the right listeners, who are most likely to be interested in their music.

Your Music Marketing summarise the report, writing: “Already at the core of streaming platform’s strategies, Spotify maintains a competitive edge over its rivals today, thanks to its algorithmic playlists system, widely regarded as the most effective in the market.”

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Upload your music to Spotify to get discovered in their algorithmic playlists and reach audiences around the world. Free unlimited uploads to Spotify and other top streaming services are available at