Spotify is constantly expanding its Mixture feature, most recently allowing users to create shared playlists with up to 10 friends and also allowing them to join a shared playlist with selected artists.
Blend in its expanded form is a particularly good feature of Spotify, as it gives the service a social dimension: friends can enjoy new music or go down a nostalgic rabbit hole by sharing songs that were important to them in the past.
The size of Blend’s artist playlist was previously limited to 20 musicians or bands, with big names like BTS, Diplo, Charlie XCX, and Megan Thee Stallion all vying for the attention of their shared playlist. Now Spotify is adding Post Malone, Lizzo and The Chainsmokers to the list of artists worthy of shared playlists and also introducing a new Blend feature: the ability to buy products from artists through a direct integration with Shopify.
Purchasing products through Blend is a multi-step process where you first create a playlist shared with the artist on Spotify. You then receive a social sharing card with a Taste Match score that reveals shared musical interests, which you are encouraged to post on social media.
When everything is ready, you will have the opportunity to purchase products including t-shirts, vinyls, CDs and more directly via Shopify, with the artist receiving a cut of the profits.
And while the focus of Blend’s shared playlist and Shopify feature right now is on top artists, independents who have their music listed on Spotify can also set up a “virtual product table” via Shopify, with up to 3 products featured on Spotify. your artist profile.
Analysis: Most musicians make money from products, not streaming
Although it is one of the best streaming services, Spotify is not known for its generosity towards artists. A New York Times article cited industry estimates of a payout of “$4,000 per million streams, or less than half a cent per stream,” to record companies, with the record label determining the artist’s cut of that amount.
To earn a decent amount of money from this deal, you’d have to be very popular – someone on the level of a Post Malone, or maybe a Kate Bush after Stranger Things season 4.
Most touring artists make money from the venue’s wares table, and having that table extend virtually to streaming services is a positive step. And while Spotify’s Shopify arrangement lets indie artists get in on the action, the service could do more to promote it, expanding its list of Blend’s shared playlist options far beyond the current limited number of highly popular and presumably well-paid artists.
For an example of how to do things right, Spotify should look to Bandcamp, a service that allows artists to directly share streams and sell music downloads, as well as other types of products. At the height of the pandemic, Bandcamp became known for bandcamp fridayswhere the service waived its share of the profits and allowed the artists to keep the proceeds of any merchandise sold.
Bandcamp plans to resume Bandcamp Fridays starting in September. If you’re an artist with fewer followers than Post Malone, you might want to check out Bandcamp instead of relying on Spotify to mix you up in Blend.