Five years ago, when I first wrote about the oncoming change music streaming, and Spotify specifically, would provide for the Texas music scene it probably seemed like a far-fetched vision; but yet here we are.
The game has changed. Music streaming is king, and Spotify is the most dominant force in our music scene. Our scene has no doubt reaped the benefits of this evolving dynamic. Our biggest acts are now bigger than ever, packing crowds all over the country and being offered lucrative and leveraged record deals. Emerging acts are growing out of the region faster than ever before, and the newbie’s are building fan bases within the region at record-breaking levels. Kolby Cooper, for example, is one of the brightest emerging stars in our scene and broke exclusively through Spotify!
Not only did music streaming knock down the barriers of accessibility and distribution, but Spotify gave us the most valuable weapon out there: quantifiable data. It was no longer possible to speculate or deny what kind of fandom and listenership this scene had. The vast consumption of artists like Cody Johnson, Aaron Watson, Koe Wetzel, Josh Abbott, Randy Rogers, Parker McCollum, etc… was now on display via monthly listeners and stream counts…and fans, buyers, and industry folks took notice.
One of those folks just happened to be the Head of Country Music at Spotify: John Marks. Marks who is a long time proponent of Texas music started coming down here 4 years ago to check out, meet, and chat with the artists specifically from our scene. Between the visits, the advice he’s dolled out at our Texas Music Seminars, and love for our music, he has garnered the embrace and respect of the scene, and is now woven into the threads of the current Texas music scene! And I say, having the most powerful man in country music as a fan of our scene has certainly been a big win!
Mark’s Texas/Red-Dirt-specific editorial playlist, Texas Music Now, has eclipsed 300K followers and our artists are now also frequently finding themselves on some of the other monster country music playlists: New Boots, Country Music Rocks, and even occasionally Hot Country just to name a few!
From the first time I ever spoke to Marks, his sentiment has been the same when it comes to promoting this scene: I didn’t start the fire, but I’ll be happy to pour jet fuel on it whenever I can. Well…. today another can of jet fuel is opening.
Marks has dropped a new, additional, Texas/Red dirt playlist: Texas Music Rewind. Here, you’ll be able to find some of the biggest songs from our scene from the past few years.
The Texas Music Now playlist has seemed to evolve to highly current songs, so this playlist aims to find a home for popular recurrent songs that are still worthy of some playlist love.
The Texas music scene is now rolling with two powerful playlists, which means Spotify not only has more playlisting opportunities for our artists but also more room to accentuate new music while still having a place for songs that have been out for a while! This is just one more asset Spotify has created for our scene, and we’re excited to bring you the good word on it!
Crack open a beer, find you a porch, hit play below, and crank it up!
Music addict, a sucker for heartbreak songs, and avid Houston sports fan! I’am also the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Music Pickers.