Late last week (November 20), Benjamin Clementine received the coveted Mercury Music Prize for his debut album, At Least For Now. Like previous winners before him, the award shined a light on his music, and his plays on Spotify have subsequently gone up 500% following his win. NME reports that he now has 350,000 monthly users listed on Spotify alone. His competition was fierce, too, with his album facing the likes of Syro by Aphex Twin, and In Colour by Jamie XX among others.
The surprising win has caused plays of his tracks “Condolence” and “Cornerstone” to accumulate 1.5 million and 2.2 million streams on the service respectively. Both tracks are sitting around similar figures on YouTube, with many seeking out his music after the win. A similar situation happened last year when Young Fathers received a nomination for their album Dead, with the Scottish trio accumulating a 1040% increase in Spotify streams, 2267% increase on Napster, and a 31% increase in album sales.
The benefit the award has given nominated and winning artists in the past has suggested that the Prize encourages people to listen to the nominees, and that it certainly helps gain exposure for those on the lesser-known end of the spectrum. Telegraph reported that artists like Jungle, FKA twigs, and Bombay Bicycle Club didn’t really benefit from the nomination in terms of popularity last year, but it did benefit sales of the nominated albums.