New Spotify feature lets you merge with Post Malone – buying his merchandise

Spotify has continued to expand its Mixed feature, most recently allowing users to create shared playlists with up to 10 friends and also allowing them to participate in a shared playlist with selected artists.

Blend in its extended form is a particularly great Spotify feature because it gives the service a social dimension: friends can blast each other to new music or rush down a nostalgic rabbit hole by sharing songs that were important to them in the past.

Blend’s artist playlist dimension was previously limited to 20 musicians or bands, with big names like BTS, Diplo, Charlie XCX and Megan Thee Stallion all vying for your shared playlist’s attention. Now, Spotify is adding Post Malone, Lizzo, and The Chainsmokers to the list of artists worthy of a shared playlist, and is also introducing a new Blend feature: the ability to purchase artist merchandise through a direct integration with Shopify.

Purchasing merchandise through Blend is a multi-step process where you first create a shared playlist with the artist on Spotify. You then get a social share card with a Taste Match score that reveals shared musical interests, which you are encouraged to post on social media.

Once all of that is done, you’ll have the option to purchase merchandise including t-shirts, vinyl, CDs, and more directly through Shopify, with the artist receiving a share of the profits.

And while Blend’s shared playlist and Shopify feature currently focuses on big-name artists, indies whose music is listed on Spotify can also set up a “virtual merch table” through Shopify, with up to to 3 products featured on their artist profile.

Screenshot of Spotify's shared post malone playlist

The author’s Blended playlist with Post Malone resulted in an excess of songs by this artist. (Image credit: future)

Analysis: Most musicians make money from merchandising, not streaming

Despite being one of the best streaming services, Spotify is not known for its generosity towards artists. A New York Times article cited industry estimates of “$4,000 per million streams, or less than half a cent per stream”, with payment going to record labels, with the label then determining the share of the artist on this amount.

To make a decent amount of money from this arrangement, you need to be extremely popular – someone on the level of a Post Malone, or perhaps a Kate Bush Stranger Things season 4 post.

Most touring artists make their money from the venue’s merchandising table, and the virtual extension of that table to streaming services is a positive step. And while Spotify’s Shopify arrangement lets independent artists get in on the action, the service could do more to promote it by expanding its list of Blend shared playlist options far beyond the current limited number of playlists. very popular and presumably well-paid artists.

For an example of how to do it right, Spotify should turn to Bandcamp, a service that allows artists to directly share streams and sell music downloads, as well as other types of merchandising. At the height of the pandemic, Bandcamp rose to prominence for Bandcamp Fridayswhere the service waived its revenue share and allowed artists to keep proceeds from any merchandise sold.

Bandcamp plans to resume Bandcamp Fridays starting in September. If you’re an artist with a smaller following than Post Malone, you might want to check out Bandcamp rather than relying on Spotify to integrate with the Blend.

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