×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Spotify Acquires Stake in Distrokid, Tightening Squeeze on Indie Distributors

The move enables artists who upload music directly to Spotify to distribute it to other platforms, including Apple Music and YouTube.

Following on Spotify’s announcement last month that artists can upload music directly to the platform, many asked what becomes of the independent distributors like TuneCore and CD Baby, which specialize in bringing artists’ music to digital platforms, including Apple Music, YouTube, Amazon, Pandora, iHeartRadio and others.

Today Spotify squeezed the indies just a bit more by announcing a “passive minority investment” in the aggregator DistroKid — a partnership that will enable artists who upload their music to Spotify to “seamlessly distribute their music to other platforms,” such as

The low-key, characteristically cheerful announcement seems designed to counter any misperception that Spotify has taken control of a service that distributes music to its competitors. (In fact, a Spotify rep contacted Variety to emphasize the fact that Distrokid remains independent.)

“For the past five years, DistroKid has served as a go-to service for hundreds of thousands independent artists, helping them deliver their tracks to digital music services around the world, and reaching fans however they choose to consume music,” Spotify wrote in a blog post. “The service has been a trusted and reliable partner to Spotify, which is why they’re a natural choice to enhance the experience for artists using our beta upload feature.” It concludes by saying the integration will begin “in the near future.”

The service costs $19.99 per year and says artists keep “100%” of their royalties, although specifics on the site are slim.

While the objective is to make uploading music as turnkey as possible, these moves put more responsibility on the artist for actually understanding how royalties work, no matter how simple the platform may seem. When Spotify announced the direct-upload option last month, Joe Conyers, co-founder and GM of digital-rights management platform Songtrust and VP Technology of Downtown Music Publishing, said, “While it’s great to see more flexibility for the independent community to make decisions about independent licensing, the fact is this is still only one part of being fully DIY. Independent creators still need to collect thousands of types of royalties. This move will not include songwriter and publishing royalties which many independent creators and businesses continue to fail to collect from Spotify.”

More Digital

  • Nancy Pelosi

    Facebook on Defensive Over Fake Pelosi Video

    Facebook faced growing criticism this week over its decision not to remove a video that was doctored to suggest that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was intoxicated during a recent public event. The video, which has been viewed more than 2.5 million times, had been slowed down notably, giving the impression that Pelosi was slurring her [...]

  • Little-Black-Mirror-Maia-Mitchell

    Netflix Launching 'Little Black Mirror' Video Series Starring Maia Mitchell, Lele Pons, Rudy Mancuso, Juanpa Zurita and More

    To promote next month’s premiere of “Black Mirror” season 5, Netflix is launching a short video series — “Little Black Mirror,” with a cast that includes an ensemble of Latinx social-media stars. The three “mini-stories,” aimed at Spanish-speaking audiences, are inspired by the tech-dystopian universe of Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones’ anthology series. “Little Black [...]

  • Twitter

    Twitter Permanently Bans Anti-Trump Krassenstein Brothers, Who Deny They Broke Platform's Rules

    Twitter permanently suspended the accounts of Ed and Brian Krassenstein — progressive political activists famous for trolling Donald Trump and his supporters — with the company alleging the brothers used bogus accounts to amplify their reach on the platform. “The Twitter Rules apply to everyone,” a Twitter rep said in a statement. “Operating multiple fake [...]

  • Snapchat

    Snap in Talks to License Music to Let Snapchat Users Embed Songs in Posts

    Snap wants to up Snapchat’s music game. The company has been in negotiations with music companies including the big three — Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group — to license song catalogs for the Snapchat app, according to two industry sources familiar with the talks, confirming a Wall Street Journal report. [...]

  • T-mobile - Netflix - John Legere

    T-Mobile Passes Netflix Price Hike Through to Subscribers

    T-Mobile is getting ready to raise prices for subscribers who have taken advantage of its “Netflix On Us” promotion: The mobile carrier will begin charging existing customers who have participated in the promotion an additional $2 per month to account for Netflix’s recent price increase. Consumers will see their bill go up starting on 6/2. [...]

  • Oona King

    Snap Hires Google Exec Oona King as First VP of Diversity and Inclusion

    Snap continues to fill out the ranks of its revamped leadership team: The Snapchat parent tapped Oona King, most recently Google’s director of diversity strategy and a former member of British Parliament with the Labour Party, as its first VP of diversity and inclusion. King, who starts at Snap on June 11, is also the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content