Spotify Keeps Snubbing Oliver Anthony Music — But This Success Story Is Being Driven By Users, Not Playlist Editors

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Oliver Anthony Music's not driven by playlist features

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Photo Credit: Spotify

Oliver Anthony’s music continues to move up on the streaming charts—no thanks to Spotify’s most popular country playlists.

Just last week, Digital Music News wrote a piece highlighting how the upstart singer has been slow to gain traction with both radio airplay and streaming music playlists. Instead, individuals, YouTube, and social media are driving the popularity of the singer, fueling a viral success story for “Rich Men North of Richmond.”

As “Rich Men” continued to surge, Spotify’s curators had only placed the track on a small handful of their curated playlists, largely those tied to Appalachian music. But Spotify’s curators only have so much influence here. Despite being excluded by Spotify’s biggest country playlists, the singer is still drawing enormous stream-counts.

Oliver Anthony Music has two auto-generated playlists that appear on his author page, including “This Is Oliver Anthony Music” which features music exclusively from the new talent. There is also the “Oliver Anthony Music Radio” playlist, which features other artists from Appalachia with a sound similar to Oliver Anthony. Both of these playlists have garnered over 20,000 likes since their recent creation.

1694126407 380 Spotify Keeps Snubbing Oliver Anthony Music — But This Success | Richmcculley

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1694126407 380 Spotify Keeps Snubbing Oliver Anthony Music — But This Success | Richmcculley

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Photo Credit: Spotify

But what about the major country playlists, in particular Hot Country and New Boots?

Both of these playlists command a healthy share of the country playlist audience on the platform. Hot Country has 7.5 million likes, while New Boots has around 1.1 million and is supposed to surface new country sounds. The song does not appear on either of these playlists, and hasn’t since it gained virality a few weeks ago.

Instead, the most popular playlists curated by Spotify that feature Oliver Anthony Music are Country Top 50 and Homegrown. Country Top 50 simply tracks what everyone on the platform is streaming, where it appears at #2 at the time of writing. The Homegrown playlist only has around 130,000 listeners (“Rich Men North of Richmond” is number 6 on this smaller playlist).

Incidentally, a Spotify representative demanded that we change our original article to emphasize that Oliver Anthony Music wasn’t being excluded entirely on country playlists. Now, several days later, the ground is softening for the Virginia native. Before DMN’s first article, Oliver Anthony did not appear on the Fresh Country playlist, either. Now on September 7th, the song sits at #4—so it is rising up the ranks slowly in Spotify’s more niche country playlists.