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Is Spotify's New Ad Program A Little Too Close To Payola?

Spotify and record labels have a long-standing and arguably beneficial relationship. With the streaming giant ‘s latest pitch, the future of the relationship may become complicated. In 2019, Spotify launched Marquee, a playlist submission tool that “drives incremental streams” for artists through pop-up ads. However, at first, the company touted that the ads were separate from their popular editorial playlists. According to Bloomberg , the Stockholm-based music mammoth is now pitching a second monetization effort that pushes the label to pay them for promotion and streaming data of their music habits. Under this new program, Spotify will insert sponsored songs into playlists to better connect artists to their listenership. Since the billion-dollar business shovels the majority of its revenue back into labels due to royalties, Spotify is seeking to diversify its streams of ad revenue. For an entity that singlehandedly revived the music business, it sounds fair. Problem is, their...

Mar 4, 2020