clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Watch what happens when Spotify gives unknown music acts a big push

The playlist effect.

2014 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - Day 1
Michael Brun, performing at Coachella
Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Coachella
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Spotify is the equivalent of a music store, stacked with more than 30 million singles. If you pay Spotify $10 a month, you can grab any of the singles you want, whenever you want.

But that’s a lot of singles. Who’s going to help you pick through them?

Spotify has more than than two billion playlists, most of them created by Spotify’s users. But the service also features a handful of prominently featured playlists, which can help lift a song, and the artist behind it, from obscurity.

This is what being on a big-deal Spotify playlist looks like, in chart form: Here’s performance data for five independent artists — Guordan Banks, Michael Brun, Elohim, R3hab and Verite — after getting a push from Spotify playlists like “New Music Friday.”

All five of these acts work with AWAL, the “streaming label” owned by Kobalt, the music services company backed by Google and others:

AWAL says its artists generally see a boost of 50 percent to 100 percent once they get on Spotify-sponsored playlists; even after those spikes wear off, the artists often see a 20 percent increase in their streams.

The company is sharing this data because it wants to promote a new app it’s giving out to its acts, which lets them check on their streaming data on their phones. If you’re one of the 20,000 acts that work with AWAL, you can learn more about that here; the rest of us can just wish other labels shared streaming data for their acts.

This article originally appeared on