Trendsetters trade on being early adopters, whether it’s fashion, technology or creative pursuits. And, in a world where social media has become so important, sharing something before it goes viral has become a form of social validation (check out Kevin Allocca’s TED Talk for a look at some of the reasons behind that impulse). Now Spotify has launched a tool called Found Them First, which shows you how many artists you streamed before they hit the bigtime.
Music fandom can be a competitive sport—and, for those who are constantly seeking cool points, there’s an element of oneupmanship to knowing the next big things. So the website taps into that and allows listeners to see how early they were on the uptake and how they played a role in helping to discover breakout artists, which are defined as having 20 million streams accumulatively and a growth rate of 2000 percent between January 2013 and June 2015.
The site also tells you the first date you listened to a new artist and reveals a customised playlist of other similar breakout artists you have yet to discover. The top 1-15 percent of listeners are considered “early listeners” and will be able to see this ranking and then sleep soundly in the knowledge that they are ahead of the curve (no doubt New Zealanders will be over-indexing in Lorde listenership).
To personally reward their fans, artists including Graham Candy, Vance Joy, James Bay, Years & Years, and Misterwives created appreciation videos to thank their early listeners. The vignettes will appear in users’ Found Them First experience for the musicians they discovered.