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Today, Spotify has 140 million users, 60 million of whom are paying subscribers, all taking a part in the platform’s music, podcast, and video streaming service. As many of us know, Spotify has been a big player in this game since 2008. From its beginning in Sweden and spreading through the UK soon after, Spotify reached the United States by 2011 and has today become one of the industry’s most dominant infrastructural layers, allowing its users and paying subscribers, access to a massive music consumption engine, and providing record labels and media companies with back-end tools to reach their listeners.

So far in 2017, Spotify’s expanding artist back-end Spotify for Artists as well as their multi-pronged partnerships with SXSW, Waze, and WNYC Studios have deepened the company’s roots into the music industry. Practically worldwide, Spotify is also looking to expand into Asia this upcoming year. To focus on the artist feature, it allows both artists and managers to be interconnected to their profiles, making it more personable to fans and followers. This feature’s expansion was only a prelude to what has just been announced this morning, October 20, 2017, as RISE.

RISE is Spotify’s acknowledgement of the large growth of mid-size artists, intending to turn a spotlight onto the most promising artists in the current time period (according to Spotify’s tastes), offering them opportunities for their fan bases to grow via promotion and advertising on the site. Spotify’s team will hand-select four artists every few months to be further pursued as the RISE artists of the year. RISE plans on having 16 artists in their showcase. As a way to give back, Spotify respectively stated that they want no part in revenue from the artists or labels associated clarifying that they are not planning to become involved with these artists in a label capacity: they will neither take financial cuts out of RISE artists’ touring or merchandising, nor seek to own any part of the song copyrights. He also left the door open to working with major labels on future RISE artists.

Kim Petras (pop), Lauv (pop/rock), Russell Dickerson (country), and Trippie Red (hip-hop), are the first four RISE artists, covering all genres. None of the four artists are yet signed with a label. Spotify wants the RISE platform to further help these much deserving four towards the future they have been working towards on their own. Spotify’s global head of creator services Troy Carter told Billboard, “We have the biggest distribution in the world for streaming music, so why no use that to help young artists?” Each of the four combined are responsible for hundreds of millions of streams as it is through the service. Carter defines RISE to be a passion project and a way of saying thank you.

Now with RISE above the horizon, we will be able to really get to know these artists on an intimate level. Spotify stated that RISE will be featuring upcoming events alongside live audio and video content as a means to share their backstories. Delta Airlines has joined on as a launch sponsor, and noteworthy investors are supporting the RISE program.

Overall, this year has been a huge breakthrough for Spotify. Artists, fans, and the industry itself have taken to huge recognition towards their more artist-focused path. Spotify supports a manifold of talent, and now they are showing a deeper appreciation for these artists. This fresh stance towards the diversity within the music industry is an intelligent one to take, as everyone involved is now aware of the constant streaming, searching, and flourishing capabilities in this new era. We are eager to watch RISE advance, and see what Spotify does with the new platform.