Playlists 2 – non-linear, on-demand, skippable
Music 4.5: Playlists 2 is the next evolution of the #playlist discussions started in New York last autumn, this time focusing on the increasingly symbiotic relationship between radio and streaming and what the move towards radio-style lean-back listening means for monetization of playlists and the tracks compiled to create them.
The line between streaming and radio is officially blurred. Radio – while long being the medium where listeners passively subject themselves to the corporate, ad-supported, playlist – is diversifying to provide curated listening that is non-linear, on-demand, and skippable. (Or, as others put it, “streaming.”)
Playlists have undeniable value – for artists, for labels, and for the streaming services themselves – but only if they reach the end user. However, the average user tends to hit play on a playlist of familiar music so as not to have to interact with the discovery and listening process (a phenomenon dubbed the “DOH-effort button” during the New York discussions).
This puts playlist promotion and placement at its most crucial, despite the unfathomable number of playlists in circulation. Which playlists deliver the most value? Can labels and brands have consumer influence in this space? What is the best strategy for individual tracks in terms of which playlists to be on and the best running order placement? Streaming services differ in their approach to playlist creation, and we’ll be looking at the data and science that drives creators and algorithms, such as the growing “human curator” on Apple Beats 1 and Spotify’s ‘In Residence’.
But the shift is clear: the music industry is recasting its relationship with streaming, conceding that streaming delivers consumption instead of sales, adapting revenue models accordingly. Meanwhile, video has emerged as a viable competitor to audio-only playlist streaming, with YouTube Red and the YouTube Music App disrupting the space with both a subscription and free model. There is also the growing interest of brands in the playlist space, and the ever-challenging question of monetisation via subscription, advertising, and/or playola….
Music 4.5: Playlists 2 - The questions we will be asking are:
• What does the move towards radio-style lean-back listening mean for monetisation of playlists and the tracks compiled to create them?
• When do playlists deliver the most value, and what is the process of creation and procurement? How can artists, labels and brands influence playlist placement and promotion? Are they simply viral, like social media?
• Streaming services differ in their approach to playlist creation. Is there a magic formula? Human creator versus algorithm? What of the data and science behind playlist creation?
• Video has emerged as a viable competitor to audio-only playlist streaming, with YouTube Red and the YouTube Music App disrupting the space with both a subscription and free model in the States, soon to arrive on our shores. What should audio streaming services do in response, if anything?