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Apple Music Discovery Stations: What it Means For Artists

By Matthew Vultaggio

August 9, 2023

Spotify’s algorithmic playlists like Discover Weekly, Release Radar, and Spotify Radio have been a key reason why I’ve been able to pass 6.5 million Spotify streams releasing music as Best Friends Club.

As a listener and DJ, these algorithmic playlists have also been super useful for reliably finding exciting new music and songs similar to the stuff I already love to listen to, make mixes, or play out live.

Thankfully, Apple Music has finally introduced its own personalized and algorithmic playlists to compete…

Apple Music’s Discover Station is a personalized playlist for each user that is filled with brand new songs that are based on your listening preferences and history but are not yet in your playlists, liked by you, or in your Apple Music library.

These new “radio station-style” playlists can be found under the “Listen Now” section in the Apple Music app, which is just under the Top Picks section, and features a “Made for You” label on it.

For artists.. does this mean that the Spotify Algorithm Hack can now apply to Apple Music??

What Apple Music Discovery Stations Mean For Artists

Any artist that has been also releasing music on Apple Music but not seeing as many streams compared to Spotify (like me) have quite a bit to celebrate and be excited for.

1. Increased Streams & Engagement on Apple Music

If Apple Music’s take on algorithmic playlists ends up working anything like how Spotify’s does, then artists can expect:

  • Higher stream counts directly from these new Discover Station playlists
  • An increase in saves and playlist adds for any songs that get a “Discover Station boost”
  • Increased stream counts of their back catalog of music after fans discover them

But this is all quite obvious and really just scratches the surface here…

2. A Good Reason To Promote Apple Music Releases

In addition to this, artists that have been successfully using Facebook Ads to grow their Spotify streams have a much bigger reason to start also promoting their Apple Music releases.

You see, the cost of a stream from a Facebook ad is a big-time losing game ($0.25 for a stream, then $0.0032 paid for that stream)…

Unless, of course, the increase of streams and engagement from those ads leads to a “boost” from Spotify’s algorithmic playlist which can then amount to 10,000s of extra streams for free.

The inclusion of Apple Music’s version of algorithmic playlists means that truly pushing songs on Apple Music can be a big move for artists particularly since the payout per stream is larger on Apple Music.

3. More Innovation From Spotify

For way too long, Apple Music mostly ignored including any kind of algorithm or really adding many discovery features – instead simply relying on the massive number of users in the Apple ecosystem from iPhone, Mac, and iPad purchases.

With the introduction of Discover Stations, there is a chance that Spotify will need to stop resting on its laurels and bring some true innovation to the table in order to keep its market position.

Apple is a behemoth company, so even slightly raising a finger means that a smaller company like Spotify will have to raise its whole arm to stay competitive.

How Artists Should Prepare For This Change

As an artist that has mainly found success on Spotify so far, I’m going to keep my eye on how these playlists develop over time and what the user uptake is.

I’m also going to experiment with including Apple Music more prominently in my music links when promoting my new releases.

Lastly, I’m going to include Apple Music as a targeting option in my Facebook ads to see if I am able to get a similar boost as I have done many times with Spotify’s Release Radar playlist.

Some of my favorite music marketing tools

Thank you for reading this article, my friend, and I hope you found it helpful as you build your own successful career in music. 🙂

Click here to see a list of my favorite and most recommended tools and resources that I’ve personally used to get my music streamed over 5,000,000 times on Spotify as an artist (called Best Friends Club).

Any of the paid services or tools listed here are most likely affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a small commission. 🤗

But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I personally use, love, and recommend to anyone – including my own friends and family.

"Copy/Paste" Your Music Promotion with The FREE Checklist I Used To Get 3,000,000+ Spotify Streams

Get your 7-step checklist for FREE: