‘Indies should form collective on streaming playlists’


The UK’s Association For Independent Music held its Music Connected event in London yesterday, with playlists a hot topic amongst panelists.

One of the standout moments from the day came from Cooking Vinyl‘s Sammy Andrews (pictured). She called on the company’s indie peers to club together and form a collective when it comes to playlists on streaming services – and to share some of the investment burden.

The major labels all have their own regularly updated playlist brands on services such as Spotify and Deezer. These typically promote their own music, alongside a few selected tracks from other labels.

Universal owns Digster, Sony owns Filtr and last year Warner bought Playlists.net and took it in-house.

“I’d like to call on the independent community to join forces on playlists and curation.”

Sammy Andrews, Cooking Vinyl

Andrews asked a sold-out room at London’s Glaziers Hall if the independents shouldn’t represent themselves in a similar manner, together, with a structured brand to promote their combined releases.

“Curation is an increasingly important part of our business and beyond what we, as indies can achieve on our own we would be fools to ignore the potential of a collective effort,” she said.

“Streaming services have made over 30 million tracks available for the consumer – and the key is now how to navigate them…

“Well curated playlists offer an opportunity to build interest in tracks and break new artists. The majors are investing heavily but the indies are yet to have a clear voice.

“I’d like to call on the independent community join forces on playlists and curation. There are times when we have far more power as a collective, this is one of those occasions”

Cooking Vinyl recently scored a No.1 album with The Prodigy’s The Day Is My Enemy (pictured). Andrews praised the band and fellow Cooking Vinyl act Billy Bragg for making time to record additional interview content to reward fans on streaming services.

The panel also featured Domino’s Jason Reed, [PIAS]’s Will Cooper, Motive Unknown’s Lucy Blair, Spotify’s Chris Stoneman, Cooking Vinyl’s Sammy Andrews and Music Ally’s Karim Fanous.

Cooper revealed that as well as running its own successful playlists, [PIAS] had been “asked for money” to appear on others’ curated channels.

The Guardian reports that, without naming names, Cooper said: “They seem to think that they can make money from it. It seems clear to me that someone’s been paying them money, otherwise they wouldn’t be so confident that they can charge… It’s not a surprise. Clearly payola worked well in American radio, so why wouldn’t it work well on Spotify?”

Spotify’s Chris Stoneman concurred, adding: “It’s certainly something we’ve heard is happening, people asking for money.”

You can read more comments from the panel on Music Ally through here.

Other topics covered on the day included Soundcloud – and why labels should encourage their artists to begin accruing followers on licensed services at the earliest opportunity.Music Business Worldwide

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