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Spotify feels a responsibility to promote local and female artists | NOW

Spotify consciously puts a spotlight on the music of local and female artists. Head of Spotify Benelux Wilbert Mutsaers tells in conversation with that Spotify provides extra support for home-grown music and female artists with, for example, playlists, where possible.

“Our mantra is reflect local culture, that is an important part of my work, “says Mutsaers.” It is our task to get the local product on its way. When making playlists, we also consider artists from our own country extra. If we don’t push that new Dutch or Belgian artist, then it is not likely that this will happen in Iceland or New Zealand. ”

According to Mutsaers, this commitment has only increased since the corona crisis, in which artists see much of their income lost. “For example, in the past year we’ve paid even more attention to local playlists like Made in NL, Your Moerstaal in Character. We talk a lot with artists and encourage them to release new music and then we see what we can do for them from our side. “

Slower developments of local music on Spotify Belgium

In the Netherlands, home-grown music is now more than solid on Spotify. A majority of the fifty most listened to artists of 2020 in our country are Dutch, with even a completely Dutch top 5. In Belgium this is still different. There, the highest ranked artist from home soil was 13 and only five made it to the top 50.

Mutsaers explains this difference in part due to the rapid and strong rise of Spotify in the Netherlands. “In the Netherlands, the rise of Spotify was much faster, because people were more open to a new way of consuming music. In Belgium, the digital market has only been larger than the physical market for CDs and LPs for two years now. We have been localizing there for two years. , while this has been the case in the Netherlands for about five years longer. ”

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“We now see that Belgian artists are embracing streaming more.” According to Mutsaers, the Belgian music industry is also seeing developments in the Netherlands, with not only hip-hop scoring large streaming numbers, but also artists from other genres: from Davina Michelle to Tino Martin and Duncan Laurence to Tabitha. He expresses the hope and expectation that the relations in Belgium will also turn out more favorable for artists from home in the coming years.

‘The hunger among female artists to learn is great’

In the same top 50 in the Netherlands, there are only nine female artists, of whom Dua Lipa is the highest ranked in position twelve. Mutsaers points out that the margins in this list are small and that it is a snapshot, but at the same time indicates that Spotify is also committed to providing opportunities for female artists, producers and songwriters.

On International Women’s Day, Spotify launched the new EQUAL Hub in fifty countries, including the Netherlands. It highlights the latest music and podcasts from female makers. With the campaign, Spotify wants to feed the potential of female makers even more.

“Ultimately, of course, people decide for themselves what they listen to, but we do see and feel a responsibility, where we can, to give women a boost in the music industry. Women are underrepresented in the music world, among the artists, but still more like songwriters and producers. That has been the case for a long time and we hope to gradually improve this with extra support, for example in playlists. ”

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“We also did a masterclass for female artists at the beginning of last year, attended by 150 musicians. There is a great appetite among the artists to learn about the different aspects of the music industry and we are happy to help them with that.”

“Being a woman in itself does not of course define whether music is considered fun or interesting. The unequal relationships in the music industry will not change by itself, but good examples, such as the success of Dua Lipa and Billie Eilish or now Olivia Rodrigo, do follow. In the Netherlands we have been on the right track for some time with many great artists such as Anouk, Maan, Ilse DeLange, Trijntje Oosterhuis, Eefje de Visser, Davina Michelle and Tabitha, but there is always room for improvement. we really see back with emerging artists such as Froukje, Nana Adjoa and Rimon. ”

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