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Spotify's music event picks up where Apple left off

And it's based on a popular playlist.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
September 8, 2017
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Neil Lupin/Redferns via Getty Images

Apple may believe that hosting music festivals is old hat, but don't tell that to Spotify. It just announced Who We Be, an event based around the popular hip-hop and grime playlist (it has 143,000 subscribers) of the same name. The November 30th gathering takes place at London's Alexandra Palace, and will have some of the UK's best-known artists from the scene, including Dizzee Rascal (above), Bugzy Malone and Giggs. If you're intrigued, tickets go on sale 10AM local time on September 11th.

There's a good chance that you'll hear (and possibly see) at least some of the performances on Spotify when all is said and done. If nothing else, this could serve as an experiment: are streaming music playlists big enough to be a draw for live shows? Spotify is clearly relying on the gig's star power more than anything else, but the playlist theme adds a relatively unique spin.

It's no doubt coincidental that Spotify is announcing Who We Be right as the Apple Music Festival ends, but it illustrates the contrast between the two companies' attitudes toward live events. Spotify is clearly betting that large, multi-artist events will draw attention where Apple is shifting its focus toward individual artists' concerts and tours. It's too soon to say which strategy is best for boosting listener numbers (provided the strategies help at all), but it's evident that live music tie-ins aren't about to go away any time soon.

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