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What is Spotify?

  • 27 July 2020, Monday
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Spotify is a global hub for music, podcasts, playlists, and videos — giving users access to millions of songs and other content from artists all over the world. In less than ten years the Swedish company has grown into an indispensable tool for millions of people; changing the way we consume music, and how the music industry works, forever.

Now that we’ve answered the question: what is Spotify? Let’s find out how musicians can benefit from using its platform to their advantage.

With currently more than 345 million monthly active users worldwide — which includes around 155 million paid subscribers — Spotify leads the music streaming business, way ahead of similar competitors such as Apple Music, Pandora, or Deezer. If you upload your music to Spotify, you have the potential to be heard by 345 million+ music fans.

In the rest of this chapter, we will give you a better understanding of the platform itself, as well as key information on how to upload your music.

What makes Spotify different from other Music apps?

Before streaming platforms became widely popular, customers had to pay to download individual tracks or full albums from online music stores, from retailers like Amazon and iTunes. With Spotify, customers don’t purchase music, instead, users can choose between Spotify Premium — a monthly ad-free subscription — or they can choose a free subscription that plays ads after every few songs.

As streaming became the norm for music fans, other music apps began to follow in their footsteps — platforms like TIDAL, Deezer, Qobuz, Apple Music, and YouTube Music — but Spotify is still the most popular, globally.

So what are the differences between Spotify and some of its competitors? Let’s take a closer look.

Pandora vs. Spotify

Pandora has been around for over 20 years. First and foremost it is a music discovery app: think of it as a modern-day alternative to radio, but you’re in control of the station. You have the ability to customize each radio station to your liking. Users can listen to genre-based or artist-based stations, stations created by other users, or even create their own based on their personal taste. It’s a great way to listen to music and discover your next new favorite band or artist.

Not to be outdone, Spotify also offers “Radio” channels for every artist, playlist, and song. The artist and song channels cannot be influenced by your personal preference — unlike Pandora. On the other hand, playlist channels recommend new songs as you continue listening, allowing you to like or dislike the recommended tracks. Giving you a more personalized experience.

If you’re a music fan looking for their next new-music hit, Pandora might be the option for you. But if you’re a musician looking to get heard, Spotify is the place to start. Growing your fanbase on Spotify is likely to help you get attention on Pandora in the future, too.

Spotify vs. Apple Music

We have put two of the world’s biggest streaming companies up against each other to find out: what is the difference between Spotify and Apple Music?

Both platforms boast millions of tracks in their databases — currently, both platforms claim to have over 70 million tracks — but in terms of podcasts, Spotify has taken the initiative. Currently, Spotify offers 2.2 million podcast titles. In comparison, Apple Music’s podcast selection is few and far between. But what Apple Music lacks in podcasts, it makes up for in exclusive, on-demand radio shows hosted by the likes of Zane Lowe, Elton John, Soulection, and many more.

If you’re a music fan who wants great content, and tools to discover awesome new music based on your taste, both platforms have everything you need. Apple users may find that Apple Music just edges Spotify due to the integration with its products, but it’s a close call.

For musicians wanting to upload their music, luckily, you don’t have to choose between the two. Both platforms require you to be signed up with a distributor, like iMusician. Read on to find out more.

Spotify for Musicians: What are the benefits?

Part of Spotify’s appeal comes from its features. Its rich catalog of over 70 million tracks can be organized into personalized playlists. Spotify also has its own playlists, curated by its editorial team and by the platform’s algorithm. Getting tracks featured on these playlists can help a musician’s career sky-rocket in terms of streams, fans, and exposure.

Gone are the days when musicians need a big record label to get their music heard. Today, any musician can get exposed to millions of listeners by finding a distributor and releasing their music on Spotify. Thanks to the low cost of investment for artists and its wide reach, it’s the perfect place to get discovered.

Musicians can also get a deeper understanding of how they’re performing on Spotify by using the artist-only app, Spotify for Artists. In addition to building your artist profile, it allows you to track your streams and revenue, your fans’ behavior, and find out the top places where your music is being listened to — essential data for growing your fanbase!

Spotify App Screenshot

How to Get Your Music on Spotify

Now you’ve learned how Spotify can help you reach fans across the world, it’s now time to get into the specifics of how to get your music on Spotify.

Spotify only works with distributors. That means you can’t upload your music directly to the site. A digital distributor, like iMusician, can connect you with the major platforms and help get your music on Spotify.

If you want to distribute your music on Spotify via iMusician, it's easy. Just grab your audio files and project artwork, and upload them to our app. From there, you can choose a release date, and you’re good to go. We recommend you upload your music two weeks before your requested release date to be able to submit it to the Spotify editorial team. You can also choose priority delivery if you need something faster.

If you want to find out more, you can find all the details on how to get your music on Spotify.

What’s next?

In our other guides, we’ll be showing you how to make the most of your Spotify for Artists profile. We’ll be explaining how to claim your profile and use the inbuilt data insights to inform your career progression. We’ll also be sharing a few best practices on how to make your profile stand out from the crowd.

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