Kygo and Spotify: A Case Study
Kygo is the fastest artist to reach 1 billion streams on Spotify
17 December: On December 1st, as part of its annual Year in Music announcement, Spotify announced that Kygo was its Breakout Artist of 2015, becoming the first Spotlight artist to reach one billion streams. Today Spotify can also reveal that Kygo is now the fastest artist of all time to reach one billion plays on Spotify, achieving that feat in just 12 months. (As a comparison, many of our biggest artists – such as Sam Smith and Ariana Grande – will typically take two years from the release of their debut single to reach 1 billion plays).
Spotify chose to make Kygo a Spotlight artist based on a combination of both early streaming data and also based on the enthusiasm of Spotify’s label relations team to support this exciting new artist. Kygo was first identified as an artist that Spotify wanted to support following his popularity in his native Norway, which quickly set a number of streaming records. Spotify’s label relations team chose to build upon his growing popularity, and used to power of Spotify’s global platform to introduce him to new music fans, firstly in Europe and then across the world.
Spotify’s first step was to push Firestone in Europe. The track took off, and – thanks to the great reaction from music fans on Spotify – a full global Spotlight campaign was launched.
Sony/Ultra/RCA decided that Spotify was the right partner to launch this artist for a number of reasons, including Spotify’s global audience, Spotify’s proven track record in EDM, and the streaming service’s appeal to a demographic of young, engaged music fans. In addition Sony/Ultra/RCA were extremely proactive and collaborative partners throughout this campaign, providing assets, ideas and access to the artist to really bring the campaign to life.
The year-long Spotlight campaign has helped launch five singles, including Firestone which has 336m streams, and Stole the Show with 305m streams. Kygo has built up 50k followers to his Daylist Playlist
, and 127k followers to Originals & Remixes
Kygo is currently the 20th most-streamed artist on Spotify, and has 14 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Eight million of these Kygo listeners are classed as ‘fans’*, meaning that they’ve saved Kygo’s music or played it repeatedly. That’s equal to 60% of all Kygo listeners, a far higher percentage compared with similar artists
*Fans are listeners who have intentionally played the artist repeatedly in the last 6 months and saved their music. They are more likely to describe themselves as fans of the artist or attend a concert”.
“Reaching this milestone in such a short period of time is really incredible and I’d like to say thank you to each and every person who streamed one of my songs this past year. I’m so happy people have enjoyed listening to my tracks and I can’t wait to share my album with you all early next year.”
“Kygo brings quality musicianship and songs as well as a magnificent feel for melody to Electronic music in an unparalleled way. As one of the most exciting new artists in the world, it comes as no surprise that Kygo is breaking records and barriers across the musical landscape.”
– Patrick Moxey
President & Founder Ultra Music
President of Electronic Music -Sony Music
“This is an incredible achievement for a truly special artist. Kygo is a global phenomenon and Spotify has been a fantastic partner in allowing him to share his music with the world. We are excited for what 2016 will bring for Kygo both in the United States and worldwide as he hits the road and continues to share his unique sound and vision with his devoted fans.”
Peter Edge, Chairman & CEO, RCA Records
“To reach this milestone faster than any other act in the world really just goes to prove the immense popularity of Kygo and the support his fans have for him. We knew when we signed him that he had a fanatical following, and we were really able to harness that with the support of Spotify as a global partner on the project. We’ve spent the past 18 months carefully developing Kygo as a worldwide brand and a forward-thinking artist and to cap off 2015 with this achievement sets a perfect stage for his debut album.”
Toby Andrews, Head of Electronic Music Marketing, Sony Music International.
“It is an absolute honor to have earned such an accomplishment on a platform that we were strangers to only one year ago. From the start, the Kygo project has tried pushing the boundaries within the online space, whether its been through blogs, or through streaming. We were always strong supporters of streaming from the beginning and it feels great to know that the users really liked it. We are all excited for what the next year has to bring and want to thank everyone for their support!”
Myles Shear, Owner, Golden Hare Management
“For me, one key factor in Kygo being so successful on Spotify is down to the teams at Sony, Ultra and RCA totally embracing Spotify both as a partner and as a platform. We’ve collaborated closely to launch Kygo globally and build a strong and integrated fan engagement campaign, which has delivered this great success so far, and for the future.”
Chris Stoneman, Senior Account Manager for Spotify
Dec 1st 2014 – Kygo released his first single ‘Firestone’, exclusive to Spotify for 24 hours, which reached #4 in Spotify global chart.
Feb 10th – Instrumental track ‘ID’ was released, the soundtrack to Miami Dance Event. The track becomes so popular that it is reworked into a full single released in September.
Mar 16th – ‘Stole The Show’ released exclusive to Spotify for one week, launched with Global Home page takeovers and playlist placement. The track hits Spotify’s global Top 10 within one week, one of the fastest tracks to do so.
May 1st – Stole the Show (Live) recorded at Spotify’s London office. Video pieces start to reveal the man behind the piano (watch here).
July 31st – ‘Nothing Left’ feat. Will Heard released. 3m plays in first week alone,
Sept 4th – ‘Here For You’ feat. Ella Henderson’ released, a rework of ideas first surfaced in the instrumental track ‘ID’ released in February.
Dec 1st – Announced as Breakthrough Artist of 2015 in Spotify’s annual Year in Music campaign. Kygo also soundtracks the accompanying ad campaign.
Dec 4th – Latest single ‘Stay’ released, amassing 5m plays in its first week.