Spotify Playlist Rules Change After Pocket Gods’ 1,000 Song Protest Album

Spotify playlist rules change
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Spotify playlist rules change
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Photo Credit: Felipe Pelaquim

The Spotify rules for playlist consideration have reportedly changed due to a 1,000-song protest album.

UK group Pocket Gods recently released a 1,000 track album called Nobody Makes Money Anymore. The album was directly inspired by reports that Spotify only considers the first 30-seconds of a song as a play. According to recent estimates, each Spotify play earns an artist less than half of a penny.

“Why write longer songs when we get paid little enough for just 30 seconds?” asked Pocket Gods frontman Mark Christopher Lee. After the album dropped, it chalked up over 600,000 streams within a very short period of time. Lee says the move prompted Spotify CEO Daniel Ek to reach out to the group.

“Spotify said we’re ahead of the curve as shorter songs are the future – just look at TikTok,” Lee told iNews. “They said that I can pitch 30-second tracks to their playlists for consideration. I wasn’t able to do this previously as the songs were considered too short.”

“So next week I’m releasing a 30-second single called ‘Noel Gallagher is Jealous of my Studio.'”

Lee says the press surrounding his 1,000 song album has helped bring attention to poor payments for artists. But he’s also calling on megastars like Adele, Ed Sheeran, and Taylor Swift to start gaming the streaming system by releasing 30-second songs of their own.

The music streaming market is currently under a probe in the UK by the Competition and Markets Authority. A scathing report by MPs say the model only benefits record companies, Spotify, and superstar acts while indie artists are left in the dust.

“The CMA will consider whether innovation is being stifled and if firms hold excessive power,” the authority says. “The CMA will also access whether any lack of competition between music companies could affect the musicians, singers, and songwriters whose interests are intertwined with those of music lovers.”

The regulator has until July 26 to issue an interim report on its provisional findings of the market study. That includes a decision on whether there should be a full market investigation. It has until January 26, 2023 to publish a full report and start an in-depth investigation, if one is required.

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