Nicolas Rogès

June 13, 2024

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Were Katy Perry’s streaming numbers penalized by Spotify?

We’ve discussed it several times here because it’s an essential topic in the streaming world: Apple Music and Spotify have been waging a relentless war for some years. This war has impacted one of music’s biggest superstars, Katy Perry, with her song “Rise.” Were Katy Perry’s streaming numbers penalized by Spotify? We’ll tell you all about it! 

Were Katy Perry's streaming numbers penalized by Spotify?
Source: Apple Music

Posting music on a single streaming platform: what’s the interest?

That’s not the case today, but a few years ago, certain artists could post exclusive songs or albums on a streaming platform. Whether it was Apple Music or TIDAL, listeners could only access new content on one of these platforms. This has a double benefit: for the artists, it reinforces the aspect of proximity with their listeners. For streaming platforms, it’s a way of putting themselves ahead of the game. And to show that they are forging solid links with some of the biggest stars on the planet. Statistically, when a significant artist signs an exclusivity deal, subscription figures skyrocket, and many listeners switch from one platform to another. 

Many people have done just that, using Soundiiz. Our services offer a seamless solution, allowing you to transfer all your data from one platform to another in just a few minutes. And the best part? You won’t lose a song, album, playlist, track, or artist you’ve liked. This is particularly useful, for example, when listeners wanted to listen exclusively to a Katy Perry song available only on Apple Music, even though they previously subscribed to Spotify. Thanks to our Transfer function, switching from one platform to another is easy, ergonomic, and efficient, giving you the power to enjoy your music without any hassle.

For artists, being officially associated with a platform is also a way of becoming a media figure on that service, for example, by carrying out exclusive promotional operations in conjunction with releasing their song or album. Interviews, advertisements… The numerous possibilities make it possible to create a fertile environment around an exclusivity deal. 

Were Katy Perry’s streaming numbers penalized by Spotify? – What happened

In July 2016, just before the Olympic Games, Katy Perry unveiled her new song, “Rise”. But she’s doing it exclusively on Apple Music for one week. For seven days, this new song can only be listened to on Apple Music and nowhere else – apart from people who have managed to pirate it illegally, but that’s another story -. So far, so good, and this kind of operation is far from unprecedented. 

Were Katy Perry's streaming numbers penalized by Spotify?

However, everything changes when “Rise” is available elsewhere besides Apple Music, especially Spotify. Although it should have been, “Rise” is not included in Spotify’s flagship playlists. Katy Perry does not appear in Today’s Top Hits, for example, nor in Spotify’s New Music Friday at the time of its release. According to MusicBusinessWorldwide, the song did not appear in Spotify’s Top 200 until August. 

“Rise” is Katy Perry’s comeback in style after a period of absence. Media attention is at an all-time high, especially in the context of the Olympic Games. But Spotify isn’t playing ball. Is the exclusive deal with Apple Music to blame? An investigation by Bloomberg Media thinks so. The journalists even add that this is not Spotify’s first time, and it regularly penalizes artists who have given exclusivities to Apple Music or TIDAL. This situation highlights the potential negative impact of exclusive streaming deals on artists, a concern that should resonate with all music enthusiasts. 

Bloomberg’s words:

“Spotify has been retaliating against musicians who introduce new material exclusively on rival Apple Music by making their songs harder to find, according to people familiar with the strategy. Artists who have given Apple exclusive access to new music have been told they won’t be able to get their tracks on featured playlists once the songs become available on Spotify, said the people, who declined to be identified discussing the steps”.

An ongoing war

Spotify executives defend themselves by promising they have always kept an artist from existing on their platform. This comes at an agitated time in the streaming world. In 2016, Apple Music is, more than ever, a serious competitor to Spotify and is beginning to nibble away at market share. From the outset, Apple Music has established itself as an attractive alternative for artists. Firstly, thanks to its exclusivity system, but also by being flexible to artists’ demands and how they want to promote their music. Bloomberg reports that an unnamed musician and his team even refused to play a song exclusively on an Apple Music radio station, fearing that this would hurt his Spotify streaming figures. 

Were Katy Perry's streaming numbers penalized by Spotify?
Source: Apple Music

The two streaming behemoths will wage a relentless, complex war in the years to come. This war will go to court several times and have far-reaching implications. We wrote about this in two articles, here and here.

Were Katy Perry’s streaming numbers penalized by Spotify? – The aftermath 

The exclusive deal significantly impacted Katy Perry’s streaming numbers. Despite the song’s success on Apple Music, a platform with seven times fewer subscribers than Spotify at the time, her streaming figures on Spotify were considerably lower than expected. This disparity in numbers, especially for an artist of Katy Perry’s stature, raises questions about the fairness and effectiveness of exclusive streaming deals.

The affair caused quite a stir in the media. But Spotify has never really communicated about it. Its figures are opaque, and some data is inaccessible to the public. Even if our rigor and honesty lead us to be cautious, given that nothing official has filtered out – even if the Bloomberg media can be considered a reliable source – it is astonishing that Katy Perry, an artist of international stature, has achieved such low figures on Spotify, especially after enjoying massive success with the same song shortly before on Apple Music. 

Little impact?

However, this will not impact Katy Perry’s career; everything will return to normal after the event. The singer racked up millions of streams on Spotify, becoming one of the most listened-to artists on the planet.

Were Katy Perry's streaming numbers penalized by Spotify?
Source: Apple Music

Nevertheless, this case is a concrete illustration of the war between Apple Music and Spotify. And what’s even more serious is that this war is affecting the artists, penalizing their business and reputation. In the case of Katy Perry, a superstar with almost unrivaled levels of notoriety, this has no great impact on the durability of her career. But the situation might have been more complicated if this had happened with other, smaller artists. This underscores the importance of understanding the dynamics of the streaming war, as it directly impacts the artists we love and support. 

The war between streaming platforms is all about big money and business, but it shouldn’t negatively impact artists and their music. 

Were Katy Perry’s streaming numbers penalized by Spotify? – Soundiiz’s role

Soundiiz has never formed an exclusive partnership with any artist or streaming platform. From the outset, we have been and will remain 100% independent. We are firmly committed to this principle. It allows us to be free in our choices and to treat each platform with the same importance and interest. That’s why, with Soundiiz, you can transfer your data to and from all existing platforms.

If you’re an artist, you can also create beautifully laid-out Smartlinks with our dedicated tool. What better way to promote your work? In an increasingly competitive world, this can give you an edge. 

Another feature our users love is the ability to export your data in CSV format before canceling your subscription. Then, you can download the file, store it on your chosen device, and re-import it. Bonus: if you modify one or more lines of your document, these changes will be available during the re-import.

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