Spotify launches RISE, a new emerging artist program

Sarah Perez
Spotify already has a reputation of being a hitmaker for new artists and other up-and-comers, but now the company is turning its prowess into a product.

Spotify already has a reputation of being a hitmaker for new artists and other up-and-comers, but now the company is turning its prowess into a product. Today, Spotify announced the launch of RISE, a new program designed to "identify and break the next wave of music superstars," the company says.

The idea here is that Spotify will leverage its platform and its sizable reach - today, it has 140 million listeners - to market new talent and help them get heard. This will include promoting the artists on Spotify and its many editorially-programmed playlists, as well as through out-of-home advertising, TV ads, and digital and social promotions.

Delta is an early partner on the new effort, having committed to showcasing RISE content on its aircrafts' seatback displays through its Delta Artist Spotlight program.

In addition, Spotify says it will create one-of-a-kind live events for each RISE artist and release audio and video content that delves into the artist's backstory. This latter effort seems to be Spotify's latest twist on its original content ambitions, followingearlier stumbles in that area requiring a revamped approach. So far, original audio and video content hasn't really taken off on Spotify, despite its attempts to create specials, series, and podcasts.

The program kicks off with four artists spanning different genres, including pop artist Kim Petras; pop/rock artist Lauv; country singer Russell Dickerson; and hip hop artist Trippie Redd.

RISE will initially be available in the U.S., Canada and U.K., and will continue to add four new artists every few months, with a goal of launching 16 emerging artists per year.

“Spotify is committed to supporting the careers of artists of every level, including the next generation of global superstars” said Troy Carter, Spotify’s Global Head of Creator Services, who selected the debut artists for RISE's launch. “RISE is a powerful platform and an investment towards the future of emerging artists and the fans who discovered them first," he said.

The company has not said what its investment in this program entails, from a financial standpoint, but Carter told Billboard that "significant resources" are being committed.

He also clarified that Spotify is not going to act as a digital record label of sorts, and will not own the copyrights associated with the artists' works, nor will it take a cut of RISE artists' touring and merchandise. Plus, the artists can already be signed with major labels, he said.

The debut of RISE follows other artist-focused initiatives from the company as of late. Earlier this month, Spotify launched a mobile app for its artists that delivers real-time streaming data on their new releases, plus other analytics and details about their audience's demographics. Its web-based artist dashboard, which offers a similar set of information and data, also exited from beta this year.