Spotify has decided to have their own annual music festival , which comes after Apple decided to end theirs. Well, Apple is still having smaller events, but they have abandoned their annual Apple Music Festival, which lasted 10 days. Spotify has decided to have a single day festival and will solely focus on Hip Hop and Grime. There will only be six artists in the line up: Dizzee Rascal, Bugzy Malone, Cardi B, Giggs, J Hus and Stefflon Don. This one day festival is named after the popular “Who We Be” playlist, and it looks like playlist subscribers will get first dibs on tickets.
Apple seems to have shifted gears by hosting and supporting a number of individual concerts, rather than having one big event. Apple has also supported shows at SXSW and has partnered with Drake to promote new artists through it’s Apple Music Up Next series. So what’s the better deal? Honestly, I think what Apple is doing makes more sense. They will get their name out there more in terms of advertising and marketing. But on the other hand, a one day concert is pretty cool. Especially when it is inspired by a playlist.
Is this just a coincidence? Apple made this announcement just last week, and then Spotify made theirs shortly after. Who We Be is a popular playlist on Spotify with 143,000 subscribers. The event will take place on November 30th at Alexandra Place and tickets go on sale this coming Monday (September 11). There is room for both festivals on the market, so I don’t think Spotify was necessarily waiting. But does anyone else think its odd that two major companies have such a different take on live events?
There’s a good chance that you will hear, and maybe even see, some of the performances on Spotify after the festival. If nothing else, this could serve as an experiment. Are streaming music playlists big enough to produce a live show? Spotify is relying on star power, more than anything else. But the idea of a playlist theme definitely adds a unique twist to all of this. And who knows, maybe this is a way to attract people to the service. They could stipulate that they will have a live event, annually, for playlists that have over a certain number of subscribers. This, could boost subscriptions in a really interesting way.
Getting back to the idea of live festivals. Apple seems to be moving away from this kind of event, and shifting towards individual talent. Which comes in the way of concerts and tours. Is this a better way to go? When I said that I thought so earlier, I was thinking about it more from a marketing perspective. More people will see Apple out at festivals and events. Like they’re everywhere. But maybe I was thinking about it in the “wrong” way. And I should think about it in terms of cultivating individual talent. Which might make me have a different answer.
The reason I say that is because it takes a lot of time, effort, resources and money to cultivate individual artists’ talent. That’s not to say it’s not a good thing. But it isn’t an “easy” way to do things. On the other hand, what Spotify is doing doesn’t necessarily win my vote either. A one day concert sounds like fun, but would it make more sense to have several of these? Like I said before, and link it to other playlists? What if you’re not a fan of hip hop? You’re obviously not going to go. But at the same time, the idea is sound.
As you can tell, I’m on the fence about both of these. I’m not sure which strategy will be better for their respective companies, and only time will tell. They are both trying to increase listener numbers, but it’s hard to say whether or not this will have an impact on it. My last thought on this (I promise) is around the playlist that Spotify picked. Wouldn’t it make more sense to find a playlist that has a lower subscriber base, and attempt to draw people out AND pick up more subscribers? I’m not in marketing so maybe not. My thought process for this is that I think it would give more people an opportunity to hear some music they might not otherwise listen to. And boost sales that way? Just a thought though!