Stop Spotify's "Discovery Mode" Payola

Federal Trade Commission

Spotify's new "Discovery Mode" is a pay-for-play scheme. It's payola for the digital age. This proposed pay cut is rumored to be as much as 30%, and with Spotify's immense power as the largest music streaming platform, it is able to force artists into this so-called “deal.”

Discovery Mode creates a race to the bottom. In time, artists will have little choice but to participate and accept a pay cut to have a chance, but no guarantee, of getting their music heard because the system is rigged - and Spotify is the only one winning.

To: Federal Trade Commission
From: [Your Name]

Spotify’s Discovery Mode deceives fans and forces artists into a devastating pay cut – it is nothing more than digital payola. We urge you to investigate this new feature with the same scrutiny applied to other digital and social media advertising.

Spotify is using its market power to extract more money from artists – whom they already underpay – and turn their service into a sea of effectively “sponsored content” with absolutely no disclosures. Fans have no idea whether the music being served to them algorithmically is truly curated based on their listening history and preferences, or if it’s part of this pay-for-play scheme. Millions of users paying for a premium, ad-free listening experience are no longer receiving the product they’re paying for.

Discovery Mode benefits no one but Spotify, and is actively harmful to both artists and fans alike.