What is Spotify Showcase and how does it work?

Spotify will start showing users sponsored releases in the coming weeks (Spotify)
Spotify will start showing users sponsored releases in the coming weeks (Spotify)

Spotify is giving artists a new way to get noticed by the app’s 551 million users.

Musicians can now pay to have their songs appear on the service’s homepage in a bid to boost streams and win over new listeners.

Spotify announced the new marketing feature, dubbed Showcase, on Wednesday. Here’s how it will affect your experience on the audio-streaming service.

What is Spotify Showcase?

With mounds of music clogging up countless playlists, Spotify is introducing a promotional technique to help artists cut through the noise.

Showcase is a new paid marketing option that allows artists to buy sponsored music placements on the Spotify homepage, which is the first place you land when you open the app.

Both free and paying users will be shown the paid-for recommendations — which can include everything from a track to an album to an EP — if they’re likely to stream it.

Artists who pay for a Showcase placement can further fine-tune who sees it by targeting fans, casuals, or light listeners of their music. You should start seeing the sponsored recommendations in the coming weeks.

Does Spotify Premium have ads?

In that sense, Showcase recommendations sound like the sponsored search results you’d find on top of Google.

Some might say that these are just targeted adverts in disguise, but Spotify is pitching the tool as a way to connect musicians with fans and prospective listeners. Whether that be during a tour, ahead of an album release, during a viral moment, or even a certain season.

Spotify says users are six times more likely to stream a promoted release. Showcase joins the platform’s other marketing tools, including its full-screen Marquee recommendations and playlist pitching.

To be clear, Spotify does not feature traditional advertising on the premium version of its service for music streams. However, many podcasts do feature third-party ads and messages from their sponsors.

Free users, on the other hand, have to sit through a certain number of adverts every hour including audio, display, and video ads.