Spotify released one of their groovy ad campaigns last week. This time celebrating their freebie subscription campaign. You really do have to wonder where they find the people who come up with these things. Blake Morgan, David Lowery and David Poe all laid into Spotify with their own tweets.
Earlier this week, Facebook announced a new blockchain-powered currency called Libra, and a digital wallet for it called Calibra. Spotify was among the companies backing the plans by becoming a founder member of the independent Libra Association.
Now Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has been talking about his hopes for Libra, including the suggestion that it could one day facilitate direct payments to musicians from fans.
“I think like cryptocurrencies and blockchain are obviously two of the biggest buzzwords you can have today. And for me, I don’t think technology in itself is that interesting· What I do think is interesting is what we can do with that technology,” said Ek, in an interview for Spotify’s own Culture: Now Streaming podcast.
“What everyone who’s a part of Libra is trying to accomplish is: it’s interesting that we have all these different currencies, all of these different ways of doing things. But the reality is, there’s several billion people around the world that don’t even have access to a bank account,” he continued….(Whatever you think of Libra, the fact that Spotify is, right up to CEO level, even thinking about direct payments from fans to artists is a significant talking point for anyone mulling how the streaming service will evolve in the coming years.)
Ah, Cancun, where the elite meet and the US Consulate is located next to the jail.
Spotify is currently hosting a pricey offsite meeting in Cancun, Mexico, with dozens or more executives and employees participating.
Of course, Cancun isn’t usually associated with getting work done — unless that work involves repeatedly lifting rum cocktails. But this offsite is reportedly focused on assembling content groups from various global offices. Beyond that, we’re not sure of the exact business purpose.
One Spotify executive referred to this as a ‘Spotify Music Conference’. Another source noted that the ‘entire content org’ at Spotify is attending the getaway. Sounds like a lot of people.
There seems to be a strong Latin emphasis among the performers (more on that below), which makes sense given the location. But at this stage, this looks like a broader global content and curator meet-up.
According to one source, the action is happening at the Ritz Carlton Cancun, which is surrounded on all sides by white-sand beaches and light blue waters. According to the resort’s website, room prices start at $439 a night for an ‘Ocean View Guest Room,’ and quickly climb to $1,329 a night for the spacious ‘Club Master Suite’.
Two of the artists performing at the Spotify soiree…sorry, I mean working conference… are Nicky Jam and ChocQuibTown. What’s strange about that is that Spotify can’t seem to find the songwriters for these two artists:
Now Spotify can explain to these artists why their songwriters aren’t getting paid. Good thing we have that Music Modernization Act safe harbor that will put everything right as rain.
[This is a really important post by Tshepo Mokoena–in a male dominated industry (streaming) that reflects another male-dominated industry (music), with playlists manipulated by men to men, the much vaunted “artist data” benefits for touring falls down both economically, artistically and ethically. Turns out streaming is a hyperefficient way to make sure the rich keep getting richer and the bias keeps getting stronger. Thanks, again, Spotify!]
A funny thing happens when a mixed-gender group chats in a room: people, of all genders, tend to think that the women are talking more. And they tend to think that even while the opposite is true….In translation: women have had to fight for a voice in the public sphere so much that their bare minimum participation is seen as Too Much.
I bring this up, because it’s just about that time for the annual rollout of the coming summer’s festival lineups and their inevitable gender imbalances. Welcome! You can almost draw a parallel between that academic idea – how one woman speaking a little, giving a bit of input, is perceived as her being on a par vocally with the men in the room – and the way women can still feel like a box-ticking afterthought at festivals. A 2017 BBC study found that all-male acts accounted for 80 percent of UK festival headliners. The same study also noted that a quarter of those top slots basically were taken by the same 20 acts – your Muses, Kasabians, Foo Fighters, Killers and so on.
But what about outside the traditional rock festival setup? This week, two events – Spotify’s Who We Be Live in London late this month, and Annie Mac’s AMP Lost & Found festival in Malta in May 2019 – shared news of some of their confirmed artists. Both present some pretty incredible talent, from UK rap, R&B and electronic music. Who We Be, after all, is the name of Spotify’s grime and rap-focused playlist. But, look closer and you also start to notice another trend emerge around gender balance, specifically when streaming plays as central a role in booking a live show, as it does for Who We Be. So while festivals are expanding beyond the ‘yes, let’s go see Kaiser Chiefs for the 18th time!!’ format, what space does that leave for women, in an industry that’s still traditionally dominated by men?
….In the US, Spotify’s RapCaviar, with its more than 10.5 million followers, is often cited as a star-maker. Only, hehehe, it turns out that women feature on it very rarely. When writer David Turner looked into the numbers, for Jezebel’s The Muse earlier this year, he found that women rappers accounted for about 4 percent of artists on the playlist between May 2016 and December 2017. Women overall made up 10.8 percent of RapCaviar artists over that time period.
What’s happening with the Spotify stock price? Chris Castle argues the main downward driver for SPOT is the market catching up to the inflated Spotify DPO stock price and its subsequent insider-heavy stock sales.