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Spotify To Let Artists Upload Their Music Directly To The Platform, Instead Of Going Through A Label

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Spotify To Let Artists Upload Their Music Directly To The Platform, Instead Of Going Through A Label

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  • Spotify will now let indie artists upload their own music directly to the app
  • Artists upload songs, album art and other info in the Spotify for Artists platform
  • It comes as Spotify is said to be signing direct licensing deals with managers
  • Although the deals mostly involve indie artists, record labels are viewing Spotify’s reported move as a threat to the traditional music industry model
  • For artists, it has the benefits of a greater cut of sales and exposure on the app

Spotify is giving artists even more freedom.

The streaming platform is rolling out a new beta program that lets indie artists directly upload their music to its service.

It should give artists another way to circumvent the traditional route of going through a major label or digital aggregator.

Spotify is giving artists even more freedom. The streaming platform is rolling out a new beta program that lets indie artists directly upload their music to its service

The firm said it’s adding the free feature to the Spotify for Artists platform, which also lets them access data about their listeners and submit songs for consideration to be added to playlists.

The music won’t be immediately available on the app for users, however.

Artists pick a release day, upload artwork and designate if it’s a single or an album and hit upload.

The feature is only limited to artists who Spotify has extended an invitation to.

Artists who upload songs receive 50 percent of Spotify’s net revenues and Spotify also accounts to publishers and collection societies for additional royalties related to the musical composition, Kene Anoliefo, senior product lead for Spotify’s creator marketplace, told the Verge.

‘Since we launched Spotify for Artists, one of the top requested features has been the ability to upload music directly onto Spotify,’ the firm explained in a blog post.

‘You’ve told us time and time again that sharing your work with the world should be easier.

Artists pick a release day, upload artwork and designate if it’s a single or an album and hit upload. The feature is only limited to artists who Spotify has extended an invitation to

‘In the past few months, we’ve been testing an upload tool within Spotify for Artists, because we believe getting new music to your fans should be simple. Starting today we’re inviting more artists to participate in the beta,’ Spotify added.

It comes as the firm has given the major music labels another reason to be angry.

The streaming giant has quietly landed direct licensing deals with a number of independent artists and managers, the New York Times reported, citing sources close to the situation.

As part of the deal, indie acts are given a path onto the platform, gaining exposure in the process, as well as a bigger cut of sales compared to the traditional labels.

Should the deals become more common, it threatens to unseat the hold that major labels like Universal, Sony and Warner have had on the music industry for many years.

Musicians and talent managers are given advance payments from Spotify that are between tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for licensing recordings with the streaming platform, the Times said.

None of the artists involved in the deals are signed to a label.

Should Spotify's direct licensing deals become more common, it could unseat the hold that major labels like Universal, Sony and Warner have had on the music industry for many years

Should Spotify’s direct licensing deals become more common, it could unseat the hold that major labels like Universal, Sony and Warner have had on the music industry for many years

WHAT ARE THE TOP MUSIC STREAMING SERVICES?

Online streaming services such Spotify and Apple Music have become the music industry’s single biggest revenue source, overtaking physical sales and digital downloads for the first time.

The rapid growth in streaming music services in recent years has led to a recovery in the fortunes of the global recorded music industry, which enjoyed its third year of positive revenue growth, according to a report by industry trade group IFPI.

Online streaming services such Spotify and Apple Music have become the music industry's single biggest revenue source

Online streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music have become the music industry’s single biggest revenue source

Last year, subscription-based streaming revenue accounted for 38 percent of all recorded music, up from 29 percent the year before, IFPI said.

Industry leaders say that the rise of music streaming is enabling the market to reach new regions of the world while helping to wean a generation of music fans away from free or pirated music.

Latin America and China saw the biggest market growth, with a rise in overall music revenue of 17.7 percent and 35.3 percent respectively.

By signing direct licensing deals, Spotify could one day cut out record labels entirely, while downsizing its royalties and distributions costs – a figure that currently eats up about 80 percent of its revenues.

Spotify, which now counts 83 million paid subscribers, has not confirmed the existence of such deals and hasn’t confirmed which artists it’s working with.

However, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek hinted at the move in a recent earnings call with analysts.

‘Licensing content does not make us a label, nor do we have any interest in becoming a label,’ Ek explained.

‘We don’t own any rights to any music, and we’re not acting like a record label.’

Additionally, Spotify described how it was eyeing big changes to the old model of the music business before it held its public stock listing earlier this year.

The deals are reportedly not exclusive, meaning that the artists can also license their music with competing services like Apple Music and Amazon Prime Music.

Following rumors of direct licensing deals, labels have taken up a defensive stance. Universal Music, for example, has launched exclusive playlists with Spotify rivals like Apple Music

Following rumors of direct licensing deals, labels have taken up a defensive stance. Universal Music, for example, has launched exclusive playlists with Spotify rivals like Apple Music

Artists are likely motivated to sign such deals as they offer musicians a bigger cut compared to labels.

However, it’s unlikely that record companies will be anywhere near dismantled by the move, as they oversee too much popular music and offer resources artists need, Bloomberg noted.

Some labels are fighting back, too, by threatening to withhold licenses Spotify needs to enter in the highly sought after market of India.

Others like Universal are working with rival services like Apple Music to launch exclusive playlists.

As a result, experts say Spotify has to tread lightly, lest it lose out on its relationships with the big labels.

‘They are treading carefully,’ Macquarie analyst Amy Yong told the Times.

‘They do not want the Big Three to shut them out from their library of content for the sake of signing deals with up-and-coming artists at a higher margin.

‘That’s not an economic trade-off that you want to do,’ she added.

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