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Custom playlists on the streaming site can bring unknown artists to millions. But are they altering how songs get written?
Venezuelan singer Danny Ocean was languishing in obscurity when he released Me Rehúso independently in September – and then Spotify changed his life. As the track started to build slowly on the Central American viral charts, the streaming service – spotting these spikes in plays – threw its weight behind it, putting it into multiple playlists this year. It has now passed 261m streams on Spotify alone, and Ocean has signed to Warners, a label that, post-Luis Fonsi’s huge hit Despacito, views him as the next Latin crossover star.