We're spotlighting some different companies and services to help unsigned bands get noticed. Our latest comes from Spotimatch, a service designed to make it easier for artists to submit their music to Spotify tastemakers.
We did an interview with Spotimatch Nicolò Mantini to talk about the service and what it does for artists looking for more exposure.
AA: How long has Spotimatch been around? When did you notice the opportunity to start the platform?
NMSM: I personally started building the core algorithm in September 2018.
The idea came up after a discussion with my brother who is also my business partner in Clockbeats SRL and a musician / artist himself.
It was clear that the submission process was lacking efficiency: labels waste a lot of time listening to submitted tracks that might not be in line with their genre. At the same time Artists just spam everywhere to submit their tracks, hoping for some answers. This process is clearly lacking efficiency and quality.
I then explored the Spotify API that at that time had just opened new access to audio data to the public. We then connected the dots and thought about an algorithm that could match a track to a label (in this case a playlist), without having to listen to the track.
We thought this way we could save a lot of time and frustration to the artists and playlists (labels) owners.
The first version of the platform was ready only on March 2019.
AA: What is Spotimatch? What are the benefits of using it?
NMSM: Spotimatch was born as a platform to connect Artists with Playlist owners in a transparent and constructive way.
Why transparent: there are several pitching services online that keep the contacts “secret” and charge Artist an enormous amount of money to pitch tracks to playlist owners. We believe this is a ridiculous barrier to limit the growth of good music and connections between people. In 2019 we should help people to connect, not make them pay based on the connections someone else has! On spotimatch all the contacts are accessible by anyone. We might ask for a small amount of money if you want to submit to unlimited playlists, money that we use to cover the technical expenses.
Why constructive: through our matching algorithm, we disincentivise spamming submissions. Given a track, we load thousands of playlists, matching your track, in a way that the most matching playlists will appear first, therefore the artist will be unlikely to submit his track to a “wrong” (low match %) playlist. On the curator side, any playlist curator can see the match rate % linked to each track for each playlist, therefore he can listen to the best matching tracks only, discarding the others.
AA: In some ways the Spotify playlist is replacing radio as a way for listeners to discover new music. Do you agree with that?
NMSM: Yes I agree, 75% of the music revenue is generated by streaming, and 40% of those streams are from Spotify. It is clear that Streaming is not only growing but also becoming the main source for listening to music.
We need to remember that Spotify has 3 kinds of playlists: Curated, personalised and User generated (UCG).
The Curated and Personalised are owned by Spotify, while the UCG are the playlist owned by Spotify users.
Personalised playlists are made through a recommendation algorithm that is customised based on each Spotify user (similar to Netflix). Contrary to the radio, where often the music is guided by major labels, on these kind of playlists our personal taste is determining the music that is proposed to us. In a way Spotify playlists seem to me more personal, transparent and democratic compared to radio or TV where the playing time can be bought by big labels.
Considering that there is a mega trend that is showing a move towards higher personalization for consumers, I see streaming winning over radio, where the same content is broadcast for everyone at the same time, i.e. zero personalization.
AA: Roughly how many playlists are you working with on Spotify? How does that number change from month to month?
NMSM: We use Spotify data, so basically the number of playlists is several millions. Out of these playlists however, we have a certain amount that are “verified” and very active. Those playlists are a few thousands.
We count around 1,000 submissions per day, but these numbers are growing every month, as we are seeing a huge growth in subscriptions.
AA: You guys have a very unique entry level plan for Spotimatch. How many users do you have using the platform and how big was the growth in your base from running that entry level price?
NMSM: We allow users to use Spotimatch for free up to 15 submissions per month, after we need to ask a small contribution to keep the platform up and running.
We count around 200 users on the entry level. Since March we have seen the amount of users growing about 90% each month, and now we are having a lot of requests from independent labels, more that artists. Independent labels are starting to understand that Artists are now able to promote their music by themselves, therefore labels need to step up and offer better services to artists if they want to survive.
AA: Do you have a success story that you can share regarding someone who started using your service?
NMSM: Artist: Fulvio Colasanto - https://open.spotify.com/artist/7ceEbThtIein6vJq6OZvjd
We chose an Artist that was not popular, with the intention to check whether his Spotify analytics (popularity, followers and monthly listeners) would improve over time. Everyone is showing success stories of already famous artists, but I believe your service works only if it works for anyone, famous and not famous ones, and as I mentioned we focus on independent artists.
Below you can see the evolution of the artist during 20 days of activity on the platform, in terms of Artist popularity, followers and Monthly listeners.
In 20 days he moved from a popularity of 3 to almost 20, wich is 7 times more, monthly listeners grew 4 times as well and we expect a later growth in followers as well as his popularity grows further.
That data will be soon available for any Artist on the platform.