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Spotify launches new analytics tools for music publishers

By | Published on Friday 9 November 2018


Spotify put yet another new industry-facing service into beta yesterday. This time it’s a product that seeks to enhance the firm’s relationships with those on the songwriting and publishing side of the business, which is where some of its most vocal critics have sat in recent years.

The new service is called Spotify Publishing Analytics, and sets out to make it easier for music publishers to monitor the performance of the songs they control and the songwriters they work with across the streaming platform, including on playlists.

Announcing the new platform, Spotify’s Head Of Publishing Relations & Services for EMEA and APAC, Jules Parker, told reporters: “One of our core missions at Spotify is to enable creators the opportunity to live off their art. The publishing community is integral in supporting the songwriters that create the music we love”.

He went on: “With more information, publishers are empowered to make the most of the opportunities the global reach of Spotify provides, and the more information we can share with each other, the more opportunities we can help create for songwriters”.

Spotify first started providing analytics directly to artists back in 2013, recognising that many artists and managers were reliant on their labels or distributors to pass usage data on, and as a result many weren’t getting the information they needed.

That was also part of a wider move by the streaming firm to placate its critics in the artist community, there being a feeling that at least some of the gripes artists were shouting about at the time were actually issues with the way labels and record deals work, rather than with the then still emerging streaming music business model. It was thought that allowing artists and managers to see more data might help communicate that fact.

On the songs side of the business, publishers as well as songwriters are often a step removed from the data, because a lot of the deal-making when it comes to songs rights is handled by the collecting societies. Even where publishers do direct deals over their Anglo-American catalogues, societies often still process the data and administrate the royalties.

Of course, some music publishers have built their own data portals in a bid to overcome this problem, pulling in what data feeds they can, and then presenting that information to the songwriters they represent, and any other publishers they provide administration services to.

But many on the songs side of the business still don’t enjoy access to the kind of usage data now routinely utilised by labels and artists. Which is something Spotify is presumably seeking to help address with this new-fangled analytics set-up.

The company says it has been liaising with a number of publishers behind the scenes while developing the new data service, with reps from both Reservoir and BMG confirming their involvement and bigging up what Spotify is going to offer.

Confirming how it will work, the streaming firm said yesterday: “We developed this platform in close collaboration with a range of publishers to offer value to all of the roles that publishers play, from A&R to administration. Spotify Publishing Analytics will give publishers daily streaming statistics for the works and recordings they have identified, including playlist performance, as well as the ability to view data for each of the songwriters on their roster”.