Indie producers and artists rejoice – Spotify announced yesterday that they are allowing artists to upload their music directly to the streaming service in a new beta test via Spotify for Artists. Rollout of the new platform began last year, and will also allow artists to track and monitor their metrics and the demographics of their listeners.
Through Spotify’s new upload system, artists will be able to upload their music and preview it to their liking before hitting the submit button. Artists can also choose when the track will “go live,” and have the ability to edit the metadata before or after submission as necessary.
In terms of pricing, this upload system is free. Spotify is not charging any fees or commissions to artists, regardless of how much music artists upload. Also, Spotify will pay artists the usual commissions for their music streamed. The company will pay the royalties directly to the artists’ bank accounts.
Although this uploading service is only currently offered to select artists through the beta test, Spotify announced that it will invite more participants over the next few months.
Undoubtedly, this move will hugely impact record labels. The average label typically takes the revenues that Spotify pays for each artists’ streams and then in turn pays the artist a cut of that. Thus, an artist working unsigned to a label and dealing directly with Spotify could potentially earn a higher percentage of their streaming revenues than if signed to a traditional label.
Similarly, Spotify’s move will impact services such as SoundCloud and YouTube, where undiscovered artists upload their music to attract a following. Artists can now skip those services and stream their music directly on Spotify, possibly reducing the number of users on SoundCloud and YouTube.
Also, Spotify’s music streaming competitors, such as Apple Music and Amazon Music, will be affected by this move, as it will attract more artists to use Spotify and possibly just more listeners as well.
Only time will tell how all these companies impacted will respond. There are possibilities of retaliatory actions, such as labels offering exclusive content to Spotify’s competitors.
Nevertheless, Spotify’s move is a ground-breaking and exciting one, and between this and the passing of the Music Modernization Act, we should expect to see changes to the music industry landscape in the horizon.