In December 2016, Kobalt launched a campaign for Laura Marling that enabled fans to ‘pre-save’ her next album, automatically adding it (and its advance tracks) to their Spotify playlists as soon as they were available.
Since then, other labels and distributors have developed similar tools, capitalising on a feature in Spotify’s API that hadn’t previously been used in this way. Now distributor CD Baby is joining the club, with a pre-save option in its Show.co marketing platform that rolls over to become simply a ‘save’ feature once an album is out.
“The automatic switch from pre-save to save is a proprietary feature. Pre-saves are not built into Spotify. We figured out how to both create a pre-save campaign and then turn it into a regular save campaign automatically once the release goes live, so the campaign stays relevant,” said CD Baby’s Rebecca Bateman.
Proprietary, but not exclusive: Kobalt also added this feature earlier this year. It’s a sensible move for both: when a campaign is signing up fans to add music to their libraries – an important factor in Spotify’s recommendation algorithms – why stop when the release happens?