Since Spotify For Artists launched in 2017 it’s become known as a free tool that gives artists and their managers creative autonomy over the appearance and promotion of an act’s homepage.
It allows artists to do things like promote upcoming concerts, update headers and image galleries, add a canvas, update artist biographies, artist picks and playlists.
It also allows artist teams to pitch for playlists, and provides on updates audience, song, and playlist stats once a day.
Labels have not had access to what managers and artists can see in Spotify for Artists, until recently, following the announcement that SPOT will be rolling its user-base for Spotify Analytics (the data dashboard for record labels and distributors) into Spotify For Artists.
As Spotify publicly prepares its Spotify Analytics users (labels and distributors) to start moving over to Spotify for Artists, in the background, MBW has learned, Spotify is recruiting for a New York-based Head of Spotify for Artists to “develop a suite of free and paid offerings” for the Spotify for Artists platform.
According to a new job ad, Spotify states that it wants this person to “own the P&L of the Spotify for Artists businesses” and to, “Lead our strategy and execution for our core applications and services for artists, labels, publishers and writers.”
Right now there are existing paid-for parts of Spotify For Artists, such as music production talent marketplace SoundBetter (which Spotify acquired in September), but the ad clearly suggests that this person will be responsible for developing more.
The timing of the ad is interesting, not only because of the recent Spotify for Artists announcement, but also because it has long been suggested that Spotify will eventually introduce paid-only elements of Spotify for Artists, for example, charging for privileged marketing information.
This would form part of what Spotify refers to as “its two-sided marketplace strategy”. In its Q4 2019 investor letter, Spotify wrote: “Our two-sided marketplace strategy means we’re not just serving listeners; we’re also building tools and services for the creator community — everyone from artists and songwriters to publishers and labels to podcasters and storytellers.
“The goal of our creator-facing marketplace strategy is to harness Spotify’s ability to drive discovery to connect artists with fans on a scale that has never before existed with the goal of enabling 1 million artists to live off of their work. Specifically, Marketplace is about meeting the needs of creator teams to create art, engage with, grow, and better monetize their fanbase.
“THESE INITIATIVES DRIVE A COMBINATION OF REVENUE THROUGH SELLING PAID MARKETPLACE TOOLS TO CREATORS AND THEIR TEAMS, AS WELL AS CONTENT COST SAVINGS THROUGH NEGOTIATING MORE FAVORABLE LICENSING RATES WITH CERTAIN SEGMENTS OF CONTENT SUPPLIERS.”
“These initiatives drive a combination of revenue through selling paid marketplace tools to creators and their teams, as well as content cost savings through negotiating more favorable licensing rates with certain segments of content suppliers.
“For the full year 2019 paid marketplace tools combined with strategic licensing contributed more than €30 million in Gross Profit. As adoption picks up among more of our partners, we expect the growth rate to increase and become a meaningful source of Gross Profit over the next few years. For 2020, we expect growth in Marketplace contribution to be in excess of 50%.”
Further evidence of Spotify’s intention to ramp up the contribution that Marketplace makes to its overall gross profit margin in 2020 can also be seen in two additional job ads spotted by MBW.
The first is for a New York-based Head of Creator Promotion, who will “lead a large dynamic team to develop and execute [Spotify’s] strategy for creator promotion services to artists and labels”.
This person, states the ad, will have “accountability for the P&L of Marketplace’s creator promotion business” and “own [Spotify’s] product portfolio of free and paid native promotional tools”.
The successful candidate will “lead a cross functional team including product management, technology, design, user research, analytics, and sales operations to achieve success as a unit”.
The final piece of the puzzle here is a job ad for a Head of Marketplace Business. This individual, according to the ad, “will bring a deep understanding of business strategy, finance and analytics to shape Marketplace’s strategy, manage the P&L, and drive financial performance”.
They will also “advise the leadership team in financial metrics and market insights to provide analysis-based recommendations that inform strategy and improve profitability”.Music Business Worldwide