New Slang is excited to announce the publication of Part 2 in the Listomania playlist report series. Free to subscribers, Justin Bieber and the Self-Perpetuating Upward Spiral follows Part 1 – Winners & Losers in the Battle for Spotify Playlist Supremacy – published last week.
What might sound like a canny commercial tie-up by Scooter Braun and JK Rowling is in fact a forensic and far-reaching examination of the underlying causes of the music industry ‘One Per Cent’ – in particular how a mutually reinforcing interplay of streamed and radio playlists weights dramatically in favour of superstar artists. (When you subscribe to New Slang, Listomania Part 1 will be sent to you automatically. Part 2 will be sent on shortly afterwards.)
1. The initial sales and airplay success of Bieber’s album track Love Yourself can be largely attributed to a mathematical streaming quirk in its early life on Spotify.
2. By some margin, the most playlisted artist on Spotify-curated playlists currently is also Justin Bieber, with more than twice the number of total playlist appearances than the number two act Ed Sheeran.
3. In a mutually reinforcing interplay of streamed and broadcast music media, Justin Bieber’s current ownership of the UK and US charts is both a cause and an effect of his Spotify playlist dominance.
4. Of the most featured artists on Spotify-curated playlists, Universal claims the lion’s share of repertoire with 12 acts in the Top 20, followed by Sony on 4 and Warner on 3. XL (Adele) is the only indie label in the Top 20.
5. Owing to the colossal power of streaming playlists, combined with a host of external factors such as ‘on-air/on-sale’ and streaming chart eligibility, radio is increasingly lagging behind in the hit-maker power stakes.
Part 1 in the Listomania series – Winners & Losers in the Battle for Spotify Playlist Supremacy – is available for free here.