Spotify yesterday announced the beta launch of songwriter pages which, it says, will help “fans, collaborators and industry partners dive deeper into some of the creators behind their favourite songs”.
Basically the new service means that Spotify users will be able to click on the songwriter credits of a track and, for each writer, will be taken to a bespoke page that curates all that person’s music. It will only initially work for writers involved in the beta project, but the hope is that it will eventually work for any songwriters on the platform.
The innovation is in response to long-term frustration in the songwriting community that, first of all they didn’t get credited at all in the streaming domain, and then when credits started to appear on some platforms, there was no accompanying interactive functionality.
Addressing that songwriting community, Spotify said yesterday: “Since we began publicly displaying song credits on Spotify in 2018, we’ve seen a 60% increase in how often labels and distributors credit songwriters on their new releases – allowing artists and fans to dig deeper and recognise your work. With the launch of songwriter pages we’re continuing to evolve how your music is discovered, appreciated, and enjoyed by the world”.
Meanwhile Spotify’s Head of Publishing & Songwriter Relations, Jules Parker, added: “Spotify is always working to create new and better ways to promote music discovery – for artists, for songs and, increasingly, for songwriters”.
“The launch of publicly visible songwriter credits on Spotify in 2018 was merely a first step”, he went on. “Together with the publishing industry, we’ve continued to evolve our data sharing and analytics efforts, and are proud to unveil this next iteration”.
“Clicking on the credits in this pilot will take users to dedicated songwriter pages”, he explained, “providing a home for a songwriter’s work. [It will also] present listeners with ‘written by’ playlists, a new series of playlists dedicated to songwriters. We’re excited to see how the world interacts with these new features, and look forward to enabling them for more and more songwriters”.
The new functionality will be widely welcomed by the music industry. Although it’s unlikely to placate the American songwriter community too much, it still being in a legal stand-off with Spotify over the US Copyright Royalty Board’s decision to increase the rates streaming services pay for the use of songs. Spotify, among others, is appealing that decision.
To that end, the boss of American’s National Music Publishers Association, David Israelite, said of Spotify’s big announcement yesterday: “It is always a good thing to give songwriters more credit – so this is good. But it is such a tiny thing compared to the fact Spotify is in court trying to slash what they pay songwriters”.