Spotify is making a subtle change to the way you save songs to your library that may have implications for music artists, in a good way (I think). The TLDR is that Spotify is dropping the heart button that people use right now to save songs to their library and their “Liked songs’ playlist.
The new design replaces the heart with a plus (+) button. When you press it once the song is saved just like the good old heart button, but if they press it a second time it allows you to add the song to a playlist.
Cool, but why does this matter?
Well, essentially this makes it easier for fans to add music to their own playlists, and encourages listeners to further utilize playlists as a listening habit.
Right now a lot of listeners save songs they like, and then when they have a long drive or are at the gym they just shuffle their liked songs playlist. This leads to a lot of recurring streams for literally years after the listener saved the track. The problem is the liked songs playlist can become pretty massive, with thousands of songs.
If Spotify is pushing to make it easier for listeners to make and add songs to playlists, listeners will actually use smaller more focused playlists.
This might mean that your music will get more engagement from that listener. However it also might mean that your song is added to a playlist that they listen to less often. Either way I think the streams will be of higher quality.
Here’s a visual of how it works.
Believe it or not, a lot of Spotify listeners don’t take advantage of saving songs, adding songs to playlists or following artists. As an observational trend i’ve noticed that younger people tend to heavily use all of those things, and the older someone gets the less likely they are to use them.
I’ve met at least 5 music artists over 55 years old that didn’t follow a single artist on Spotify despite having an account for years. I’ve met at least 10 artists over 55 that don’t follow more than a handful of artists, and don’t make playlists.
When you think about it, it makes sense. Before the age of streaming for the most part if you wanted to listen to something, you grabbed the vinyl / CD / cassette of your favorite album and put it on. That’s exactly what these people are doing instead of saving / following, they search for what they want to hear and play it.
If you make hip-hop or EDM music most of your audience is probably 18-34, but if that many people 55+ don’t save / playlist / follow how many people that are 30 don’t use these features either?
In general I think the more Spotify encourages these features the better it is for music artists. There is so much music in the world its hard to get name recognition in someone’s memory, but if they save your song somewhere in their account they don’t actually have to remember your name the first they hear you.