David Gray’s new Best Of collection is a dynamic Spotify playlist

David Gray Spotify albumDavid Gray is getting a “Best Of” collection, but he and Kobalt Label Services are taking a unique approach in distribution. The release will be on sale as a CD and vinyl format in October, but for now, it’s a dynamic Spotify playlist. Rather than serve as a traditional album release, the Best Of playlist will be updated every week to reflect the most popular tracks by the artist.

“We didn’t just want to make a static playlist – Kobalt has the technology to create something special that changes and adapts with David Gray as an artist,” said David Emery, VP of global marketing strategy for Kobalt Label Services. “This provides the chance to see an instant reaction to new tracks, just as much as older tracks…We’re not in control of it, [David]’s not in control of it and Spotify isn’t in control of it: it’s purely powered by popularity, and that’s a fascinating thing.”

Spotify has its own in-house projects for dynamic playlists, but this may be the first time an artist and label have put similar technology to work on the album scale. This is a really creative idea, and a cool way for Gray’s fans to feel like they’re more directly involved with the artist. It’s also a way to encourage more listens on Spotify, which is a nice bonus for both the label and Gray. Plus, given the continued trend of falling physical album and download sales, it’s encouraging to see artists exploring new ways to define an album in an economy that favors streaming. This approach of blending the technology of choice and directly involving fans seems like a smart one.

Anna Washenko