Spotify Officially Debuts In Focus, ‘An Artist Manager in Your Pocket’

Spotify earnings call

Photo Credit: Thibault Penin

Spotify has officially launched “In Focus,” and higher-ups have hyped the service as “an artist manager in your pocket that arms you with the tools and guidance you need to nail each of your career goals.”

The Stockholm-based streaming platform unveiled In Focus today, after using May to enable certain artists to plug non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on their profiles and to highlight the purported success of its “Fan Support” option.

In Focus is ostensibly geared towards emerging and established acts alike (“no matter where you are in your journey as an artist, we know that navigating your career is a complex adventure”) and centers on five main categories. Said categories – create, promote, connect, earn, and learn – contain 21 “focus areas” that users can zero in on, the program’s website shows.

Clicking the create category’s “level up your songwriting” tab, for instance, brings one to a page featuring songwriting-focused podcasts, subsidiary apps, articles, and videos, with one of the clips having been filmed with Olivia Rodrigo collaborator Daniel Nigro.

Though the latter media made its way onto YouTube nearly a year ago – different In Focus resources yet are older than that – Spotify indicated that it’s “committed to keeping In Focus fresh, so you can be sure you’re always getting the latest and greatest recommendations.”

Perhaps the most relevant of the categories, earn, encompasses focus areas “sell more merch,” “sell more tickets,” “earn streaming royalties,” and “create new revenue streams.” Meanwhile, the learn category even includes a “focus on your mental health” choice.

Time will demonstrate the precise usefulness of In Focus for experienced artists, who presumably understand how to write songs, know how to distribute their music, and already receive any required mental-health support from sources besides streaming services.

But prospective artists and those who are relatively new to music could stand to benefit from some of the information at hand moving forward. More broadly, In Focus represents the latest in a line of recent efforts from Spotify – which has long faced criticism over its per-stream royalty rate – to tout and/or bolster artists’ on-platform earning potential.

Similarly, Spotify has ramped up its diversification initiatives and advertising options amid stock-price struggles and less-than-expected subscriber growth.

Since April’s start, for example, Swedish House Mafia has hosted the first-ever real-time DJ set on Spotify, Greenroom has rebranded as Spotify Live, and Roblox has finalized an agreement with the platform. On the advertising side, Spotify has quietly resumed running political spots ahead of the midterms, and clickable “call to action” advertising cards have expanded internationally.