Music 3.0 Music Industry Blog

Catalog. You hear that term tossed around a lot. For a record label, catalog means any release that is more than 18 months old, but for an artist it means anything that isn’t new. Artists by nature prefer to think about what they just finished, and many times don’t consider their old releases that important. Spotify has some data that may make you rethink that approach.

There’s a new post on Spotify For Artists that’s dedicated to the importance of catalog on the platform, and it has the data to back it up.

From Spotify:

“More catalog tracks are charting on Spotify than ever before. Since 2020, the portion of our Global Weekly Top Songs Chart represented by catalog has increased by 155%. As of 2022, almost a third of charting songs are catalog.”

It Works For Merch Too

OK, it makes sense that fans would check out your back catalog. Spotify found that it also ties into merch sales as well:

“When it comes to selling new merch, it’s important to think beyond the new release. Of fans that bought merch on Spotify in 2022, 88% streamed catalog of the artist they purchased from, compared to only 67% that streamed frontline tracks.”

It goes on to suggest:

“Make sure your top fans can jump from your oldest tracks to your newest merch with just a click.”

And For Sync

If you’re lucky enough to get a song placement in a TV show, all your songs will see more action:

“When you land a sync, we see a huge jump in brand new listeners. We partnered with Netflix to analyze a set of syncs and saw artist discoveries jump between +50% and +6,000%. But it doesn’t stop there — the rest of your catalog also gets a boost.”

Spotify suggests these tips for when that happens.

More Catalog Data

You might take your older material lightly, but your fans surely don’t. According to Spotify:

“Fans that are actively seeking out and streaming your music love the older stuff. In fact, almost three-quarters of active streams (streams from places like listener playlists, album pages and artist profiles, or liked songs) are catalog.”

Enter Nostalgia

If you’re an older artist, you might think that your sound just isn’t hip enough to attract a younger audience. The data shows it’s not as bad as you might think.

“Younger listeners dig the oldies. For listeners under 25, over the past four years, their portion of total streams represented by music from the 80s has increased by 45%.”

Bottom line, don’t discount what you’ve done in the past. The more catalog you have, the more opportunities there are for a new audience to discover you.

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