Spotify Ends Free Direct Distribution
Spotify has decided that it doesn't want to be in the music distribution business, after all. Eleven months ago, the streamer launched a beta program that allowed artists to upload new music to the platform at no cost. Now, it has informed artists that will be shutting down.
To keep their tracks on Spotify, artists will need to move already released music to another provider. Some distributors will be offering discount codes to help with the switch.
"We’re working with our distribution partners to help make this transition as simple as possible for the artists who uploaded music through the beta, said Spotify. "At the end of this month, we’ll stop accepting any new uploads through Spotify for Artists, and artists will need to move their already released content to another provider."
It could be labels who saw it as a threat, but I'm betting that Spotify realized its more that the service wasn't needed in first place. Few artists wanted to put their music only on Spotify and the many distributors who would place their music elsewhere include Spotify at no extra coast..
Here's what Spotify says: "The most impactful way we can improve the experience of delivering music to Spotify for as many artists and labels as possible is to lean into the great work our distribution partners are already doing to serve the artist community. Over the past year, we’ve vastly improved our work with distribution partners to ensure metadata quality, protect artists from infringement, provide their users with instant access to Spotify for Artists, and more."
What About DistroKid?
Last year, Spotify also invested in DIY music distributor DistroKid and reportedly used some of its technology to power the distribution experiment. It is unclear how today's shift away from distribution affects that partnership.