Nav: Home

Popular streaming playlists can boost a song's revenue by up to $163k

June 19, 2018

Artists lucky enough to find their song on 'Today's Top Hits', a Spotify playlist with over 20 million followers, could see a boost in popularity worth between $116k and $163k in additional streaming revenue.

Playlists also have a big influence on the success of new artists and new songs. Getting to the top of Spotify's 'New Music Friday' playlist in the US boosts streams by around 14 million, worth between $84k and $117k in additional revenue.

'New Music Friday' playlists provide a weekly, country-specific selection of 50 tracks recommended by Spotify. All the songs are new and just over half come from independent labels.

The findings come from a study by the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission's science and knowledge service, on the impact of Spotify playlists on a song's success. Scientists analysed:
  • How many times a song is streamed before and after its inclusion on major global playlists and algorithm-based 'Global top 50' playlists;

  • The effects of inclusion in the 'New Music Friday' playlists on song success;

  • Whether 'New Music Friday' playlists can help in the discovery of new artists.

The study finds clear evidence that Spotify has a powerful role in influencing users' listening choices by deciding what to include on some of the platform's most popular playlists. The results also indicate that 'New Music Friday' playlists help in the discovery of new songs and artists.

The findings are interesting for music industry participants, listeners and observers of platforms more generally.

Discovering music in the digital era

The means through which we discover and access music have evolved over the past few decades, with improvements in mobile internet technology helping streaming to become an increasingly significant channel. Sweden-based Spotify has emerged as the most prominent platform, with a 37% share of the subscription streaming market.

Streaming has also given users access to a much higher volume of music than through traditional terrestrial radio and music retailing. Spotify users have access to 35 million tracks with any internet-enabled device.

In theory, the access to this volume of content gives music lovers the opportunity to discover music from a vast array of sources, including independent record labels and foreign producers.

Conversely, access to such a large catalogue creates a daunting problem of product discovery, with the risk that new music and emerging talent could become lost in a sea of content.

Fee-paying platforms like Spotify seek to add value by helping listeners to discover the music they like, whether through playlists or personalised suggestions.

Commission support to the European music sector

The study contributes to scientific evidence on how digitisation and online distribution have altered revenue streams and led to new consumption patterns, with implications for the music sector.

The European Commission seeks to ensure that artists receive fair remuneration for the online exploitation of their work.

Music Moves Europe is the overarching framework for the European Commission's initiatives and actions in support of the European music sector.

It aims to help the sector flourish, to adapt to new challenges and to reap the benefits of digitisation. Through the initiative, the Commission wants to build on and further strengthen the sector's strong assets: creativity, diversity and competitiveness.

Its specific objectives are to:
  • Promote creativity and innovation;

  • Safeguard and expand the diversity of European music;

  • Help the sector adapt to and benefit from digitisation.
The Commission will also strengthen dialogue with the music industry to explore needs as they develop and identify possible fields of action where the EU can add value. These actions aim to ensure that all rights holders - artists, publishers and authors - are in a stronger and fairer negotiating position with new and influential players like digital platforms.

European Commission Joint Research Centre

Related Music Articles:

Seeing chemical reactions with music
Audible sound enables chemical coloring and the coexistence of different chemical reactions in a solution.
Music on the brain
A new study looks at differences between the brains of Japanese classical musicians, Western classical musicians and nonmusicians.
We feel connected when we move together in time with music
Go dancing! A new study conduted at Center for Music in the Brain at Aarhus University, Denmark, suggest that then moving together with music, synchronous movements between individuals increase social closeness.
The 'purrfect' music for calming cats
Taking a cat to the vets can be a stressful experience, both for cat and owner.
Young people putting music to the crisis: the role of music as a political expression
On February 1, 2020, the journal Young is publishing a special issue on youth, music and crisis involving Mònica Figueras, José Sánchez-García and Carlos Feixa, researchers from the Youth, Society and Communication Research Group ( at the Department of Communication.
Music is universal
Exactly what about music is universal, and what varies? Harvard researchers have demonstrated that across cultures, people share psychological mechanisms that make certain songs sound 'right' in specific social and emotional contexts.
Why music makes us feel, according to AI
In a new study, a team of USC researchers, with the help of artificial intelligence, investigated how music affects listeners' brains, bodies and emotions.
The brain's favorite type of music
People prefer songs with only a moderate amount of uncertainty and unpredictability, according to research recently published in JNeurosci.
Watching music move through the brain
Scientists have observed how the human brain represents a familiar piece of music, according to research published in JNeurosci.
Storing data in music
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a technique for embedding data in music and transmitting it to a smartphone.
More Music News and Music Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: The Power Of Spaces
How do spaces shape the human experience? In what ways do our rooms, homes, and buildings give us meaning and purpose? This hour, TED speakers explore the power of the spaces we make and inhabit. Guests include architect Michael Murphy, musician David Byrne, artist Es Devlin, and architect Siamak Hariri.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.