It's been about 2,5 years ago (March 2015) that famous music industry blogger Bob Lefsetz wrote about my Songpickr playlist and named it the "Playlist of the Year". His newsletter alone got me 9.000 new followers in 24 hours and brought me on the radar of many labels and promoters who flood my inbox with music submissions since then. A lot has changed in the Spotify ecosystem since then. Has anybody noticed all user playlists have been deleted from Browse end of August 2015? Official word is because of "Playola" but nobody ever offered me money, I have never asked for money, I have never accepted money. Of course I cannot speak for other curators. Has anybody noticed they removed in-client user to user communication / messaging? That they have removed "discovered in playlist xyz" in the "About" tab on artist pages which was an important traffic driver for user playlists? Have you noticed you are constantly being sucked into a filter bubble by "daily mixes", "release radar" and "discover weekly" giving you more of the same? Sure the algorithms are getting really good but what about human curation and personal recommendations? I always had a friend, a music buddy and a record dealer who knew my taste inside out but still surprised me with out-of-the-box record recommendations.
I am not complaining about anything. A company can program and design its service in any way they want and as a user you have to adapt and find a way to use the platform to your benefit. Nevertheless I have to admit it became quite hard to grow a playlist if you do anything beyond Urban, Dance, Pop and the Top50 mainstream. It would be easy to growth-hack, feature what's trending and hot. SEO optimize by using the biggest stars and hits. Target to teens and twens. But this would be so boring. Why do what everybody else is doing?
I am still looking for timeless, organic, authentic, real artists with great songs. I am catering to 35y+ users to be honest. Not many playlists target these users and if they do it is around legacy acts. I don't live in the past. I am influenced by the past but I want to surface new talent. Most people stop discover new music when they turn 35y. Why is that? Because they feel they are out of touch with culture and trends. They think new music sucks. Look at the charts. There's nothing in for me.
But that perception is wrong. There is more talent and great music than ever. There is fantastic new music! The War on Drugs, Sturgill Simpson, The Alabama Shakes, Dan Auerbach, Portugal. The Man, Fleet Foxes, Josh Ritter, etc. made it. Do you know David Ramirez, Tyler Childers, Nikki Lane, The Teskey Brothers, Benjamin Booker, Junius Meyvant or The Texas Gentlemen? You will hear from them, believe me! Their talent is undeniable. And these are just a handful random examples.
Many artists have been featured in my Songpickr playlist very early - often with under 1.000 plays - and now have Mio of streams, are signed to bigger Indie or Major labels, some got support slots, synch deals, festival gigs, radio airplay, even Grammy's and at least increased their fan base. I am not taking credit for surfacing any of the above mentioned artists and my playlist is far from driving Mio. of streams. But sometimes I can create a "Butterfly Effect" and kick things off.
In the end all I am hoping for is that real music still has a chance and that music fans find something exciting beyond the mainstream. That has been my motivation and will forever be my motivation. I hope you enjoy my curation and find new music you love. Let me be your "music buddy". Thanks for listening!