Spotify Turns 10: ‘We’re Passionate About Supporting Artists Across All Parts Of Their Career’

(Ross Gilmore / Getty Images
– Drake
The most-streamed artist on Spotify plays the SSE Hydro in Scotland March 23, 2017.

Spotify turns 10 this October. The Swedish streaming service officially launched in Europe in 2008, although it took until early 2009 to go live in the UK, and until 2011 to enter the U.S. market. Pollstar looks at some stats and the company’s live involvement.
As things stand, 180 million monthly active listeners across 65 countries are using the streaming service, which went public earlier this year. Spotify’s catalogue consists of more than 40-million songs and podcasts.
The total time streamed on Spotify since its inception amounts to 16,858,080 years. There a more than three billion playlists to choose from on the service.
Streaming is driving the recovery of recorded music sectors all over the world, Spotify alone claims to have paid over €10 billion ($11.5 billion) to rights holders as of Aug. 31 this year.
After 10 years, Drake leads the ranking of top-streamed artists of all time, followed by Ed Sheeran and EminemThe Weeknd, Rihanna, Kanye West, Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Calvin Harris and Ariana Grande round out the top 10. 
Sheeran’s “Shape Of You” was the most-streamed song in 2017, succeeding Drake’s “One Dance,” which led the list in 2016. The year before, the title went to “Lean On” by Major Lazer, MØ and DJ Snake.
Going backwards in time, the most-streamed song each year was “Happy” by Pharrell Williams (2014), “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (2013), “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye & Kimbra (2012), “Danza Kuduro” by Don Omar and Lucenzo (2011), “Love The Way You Lie” by Eminem & Rihanna (2010), “I Gotta Feeling” by Black Eyed Peas (2009) and “Human” by The Killers (2008).
Ed Sheeran also calls the most-streamed song (“Shape Of You”) and album (÷) in the history of Spotify his own. He’s setting records live, too, exemplifying the potential of the new music industry, where live and recorded music complement each other, to create more business than anybody working in this industry dreamed of even in the golden 80s and 90s.
Spotify has been one of the brands facilitating this convergence of both sectors – and of a general trend of doing business in non-traditional ways. The streaming service enables artists and promoters to sell tickets through its service, and also got involved in promoting live concerts too, based on the popularity of some of its three billion-plus playlists.
In the U.S. Spotify has partnered with Live Nation on putting acts leading the popular “Rap Caviar” and “Hot Country” playlists on stage. Also in the States, but via partnership with Cardenas Marketing Network (CMN), “¡Viva Latino! Live,” a concert series of the biggest Latin music playlist with the hottest acts in the genre, kicked off in Chicago, IL, Aug. 23rd.
In the UK, also in partnership with Live Nation, the third edition of “Who We Be” is about to do down at Alexandra Palace in London, Nov. 28, named after the most listened-to Spotify playlist for hip hop, grime and R&B in the UK. 
In Germany, Spotify has partnered with Four Artists to take the country’s Deutschrap playlist “Modus Mio” live. Pollstar took a close look at the (international) live potential of Deutschrap earlier this year. 
Spotify offers two different ways, in which artists and promoters can sell tickets to its users. Firstly, with so-called Fans First presale emails. “We partner with artists and their teams to identify their biggest fans on Spotify in their touring markets and send them to the venue ticketing partner to purchase before the general public,” Jordan Gremli, head of artist & fan development at Spotify, told Pollstar
“We’ve done Fans First presale campaigns with artists in 38 markets globally, from Chile, to Japan, Sweden and Indonesia. It’s a win for the fans, artists and venues who want to make sure the room is filled with the most passionate fanbase. The program is still in testing but it’s open to all markets.”
Secondly, there’s emails that go out suggesting concerts in the area. These emails are automatic and go to users in most markets where Spotify is live. Most recently, Spotify integrated Festickets to match its own artist intelligence with Festicket’s extensive festival database, and make festival recommendations based on its users’ listening habits.
“It’s important to note,” Gremli said, “that we are not selling tickets through Spotify. We work with artists and their teams to do this, and defer to whichever ticketing platform they’re already using.
“We’re passionate about supporting artists across all parts of their career, from helping them get their music on the platform and in front of our users, to helping them make sure their biggest fans are getting access to tickets, merch, and live shows and experiences.”