Spotify is expanding its music streaming service today with a new section of the mobile app and desktop site called RISE, which is "designed to identify and break the next wave of music superstars." Spotify said that each artist highlighted in RISE will be showcased through multi-tiered marketing and editorial programming, including within the app itself and promotion on social media.
Additionally, RISE artists will receive special, mixed-media playlists for users to listen to, as well as personalized behind-the-scenes audio and video content to share their stories. In the future, Spotify will host "experimental" live events focused on its RISE stars, following in the footsteps of its first live festival in the United Kingdom last month.
Instead of just one artist, RISE will focus on four musicians every few months, each one representing a different genre. To start, there will be pop singer Kim Petras, pop/rock artist Lauv, country singer Russell Dickerson, and hip hop artist Trippie Redd.
RISE will first debut to Spotify users in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and Spotify said its goal is to support a total of 16 up-and-coming artists every calendar year.
By harnessing its unmatched cultural influence and 140+ million music fans, Spotify will launch these artists of exceptional talent into the world through a dynamic combination of multi-tiered marketing and editorial programming on Spotify.
“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. “RISE is a powerful platform and an investment towards the future of emerging artists and the fans who discovered them first.”
Spotify's new RISE program is very similar to Apple Music Up Next, which showcases an artist on the rise every month. Apple's feature launched in April and normally includes episodic video content detailing the artist's personal journey, a live performance, and an interview with one of the Beats 1 radio hosts. The Up Next page also includes the artist's featured songs and albums, as well as playlists related to their work.
In terms of subscribers, Spotify's last reported count hit 60 million paid subscribers at the end of July, and the service has over 140 million total users when accounting for its free tier. Last month, Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine gave an interview to Billboard and mentioned that Apple's streaming music service grew from 27 million paid subscribers in June to "well over" 30 million in September.