Spotify hosted the virtual event Stream On Monday (Feb. 22) to discuss its new tools for creators, international expansion, new podcasts, and a hi-fi listening option.
Many celebrities participated in the event including Khalid, FINNEAS and Billie Eilish, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Halsey, Bruce Springsteen, President Barack Obama, and Justin Bieber, who closed out the livestream with a new version of his hit “Anyone.”
Among the highlights, Spotify announced expansion to more than 80 new markets and more than 36 new languages. It also revealed that premium subscribers will have the ability to upgrade to CD-quality, lossless audio in select markets later this year with a new subscription plan, Spotify HiFi.
New creator tools include upgrades to:
• Marquee, a sponsored song recommendation program
• Discovery Mode, an audience development tool which allows prioritization of tracks within Spotify’s algorithm
• Canvas, short looping visuals attached to a track (see Halsey’s video below)
• RADAR, the global emerging artist program
• Spotify Clips, which features artists in short videos on a playlist experience
Upgrades for podcasters include an Anchor + WordPress partnership, video podcasts which combine audio and visual storytelling, and new models for monetization.
Among the new podcasts announced on the livestream is one pairing former President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen for Renegades: Born in the USA, an eight-episode series exploring race, fatherhood, marriage, and the future of America.
According to the company, it paid more than $5 billion to rights holders in 2020, and its library contains more than 70 million tracks, 4.5 billion playlists, and more than 2 million podcasts, made by over eight million creators.