Last week, Apple revealed that their beta-testing program for “Apple Music for Artists” was finally over and that the platform is now ready and open for every artist to join. Being an “Apple Music for Artists” beta-tester myself for the past six months, I have decided to take this opportunity to compare the fully functional platform, against its natural competitor: Spotify for Artists.
“Numbers, stats, trends, plays, spins,” are just some of the words that we have unequivocally made part of our musical vocabulary. In this digital age of YouTube, Spotify, Netflix, etc., our collective care for numbers in music has grown like never before. We are currently experiencing an era where tracking the performance of our music/content has become an obsession ( particularly caused by the miserable amount of money made by a single stream, rather than the interesting trends, graphs, and charts).
So, in our universal search for the most reliable, and user-friendly statistics service, I broke down both Artists platforms onto the following categories to get a better understanding of what kind of info they offer:
- Both platforms are really complete. They show the countries and cities in which the songs are being streamed, as well as the audience’s gender, age group. Both display various data time ranges, including “Lifetime.”
- Apple: A highlight from this platform is the Shazam feature. Apple’s acquisition of Shazam now allows users to go as detailed as in what cities the songs are being Shazamed by new fans.
- Spotify: Highlight from Spotify is to know the origin of where the total number of streams come from, i.e., “30% from your profile and catalog” and “70% from Spotify algorithmic playlists.”
- Both give specific information on each city where songs are being streamed, providing heat maps as well as listings. However, Spotify does not cover many countries in Asia and Africa. We still do not know Apple’s coverage, but they say they include 100+ countries worldwide.
- Apple: Goes one step ahead a includes a great feature that also shows average daily listeners per city (and Shazams). Allows you to navigate the map on “Lifetime” data range.
- Spotify: Only shows the top 50 cities and 65 countries. The downside is that the location information, as well as the heat map, only works for the last 28 days.
- Artists need to show their originality to their audiences. Customization, inside specific parameters, allows for a better connection between the artist and the audience.
- Apple: The platform falls really short and only allows users to upload an Artist Image. This reflects the dullness of Apple Music.
- Spotify: The platform enables a high level of personalization. Users can upload Artist Image, Profile Header Image, Image Gallery, Bio, Social Media accounts, upcoming Concerts, and “Artist Pick” – which is space to feature any song/album at the top of the profile.
- There comes a time where artists can bring teams together: Managers, Agents, Label, Producer, Composer, etc., are parts of the artist’s side.
- Apple: Down to only 3 Roles in the artist team: Artist, Label, Manager.
- Spotify: Allows the invitation of 10 roles for team members.
- One of the strongest tools and biggest interest for all artists is to be playlisted. Both platforms have user-created and Editorial playlists; however, Spotify does a better job in creating space for discovery.
- Apple: No option to pitch songs for playlist consideration. But all information regarding a song on a playlist is available.
- Spotify: For upcoming releases (that are already uploaded on the platform), Spotify allows users to pitch those songs for playlist consideration. All information regarding song on a playlist is available.
- Nowadays, every serious platform has an app version for easy access on mobile devices. Apple falls short.
- Apple: Only available for iOS
- Spotify: Available for iOS and Android
- Both platforms are relatively easy to understand and navigate through.
- Apple: Clean and straightforward, but boring.
- Spotify: Clean, straightforward, but goes one step ahead in making it look appealing for artists that might not be so into stats.
- To create a community and a strong bond between the streaming platform and the artists, companies take the time to create relevant content for their users.
- Apple: There is no supporting material available
- Spotify: Creates articles, blog posts, videos, to teach and engage the community of users. Material range from “tips for best practices,” to “Keep your voice in shape.”
- Apple: “Insights” feature works like a news board displaying achievement info like “your song hit 100 all-time plays in the United States,” or “You reached 200 daily plays.”
- Spotify: Allows you to compare graphs and trends with other artists.
To wrap up, Apple has delivered a very well thought out platform. Everything an artist or their teams need to check on stats can be found at all times. I would recommend all artists to create an account on Apple Music for Artists and keep special attention on the location information because the popularity of streaming platforms changes from city to city, so they can complement the information from Spotify for Artists. Compared to Spotify‘s, like we just saw, they are basically the same service with only a handful of differences. Are those differences good or bad enough to make you pick one information over the other? That depends on you.
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