Spotify influencers turn up the volume on music discovery

Spotify gets a social bump

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The Future. “Spotify influencers” are leveraging their followings on other social platforms to get people talking about and sharing their music playlists. The practice’s surging popularity is turning into a sort of digital mixtape culture, which is great for underserved artists. But it also may highlight that Spotify needs to introduce some actual social features if it wants to evolve with its user base, create an ecosystem of artist discoverability, and stay one step ahead of its competitors.

Human ear
A new crop of influencers is giving music discovery on Spotify a more personalized touch… by growing followers on TikTok.

  • Ari Elkins (@arijelkins) pushed his 2.1 million followers to his 40 Spotify playlists, which now have thousands of likes.
  • Kelsie Herzog (@theyellowbutton) leveraged her account into a Patreon subscription that curates unique playlists for subscribers (over 1,300 so far).
  • Margeaux Labat (@marg.mp3), who daylights at Pitchfork, has over 400 public playlists on Spotify that have become bonafide tastemakers.

The grassroots discovery platforms these influencers have become demonstrates how much Spotify needs to rework its entire music-recommendation ethos. 

As the streamer has prioritized centralized curation over user recommendations, it’s built a service that has so much music… but may leave users stumped as to how to find something new to listen to.


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