×
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

  • BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 18: (EDITORIAL

    Dax Shepard, Bobby Bones, 'Breakfast Club' Among iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Winners

    iHeartRadio launched its first ever Podcast Awards on Friday (January 18) in Los Angeles. Among the winners in 22 categories were “Whine Down with Jana Kramer” (Best Entertainment TV Podcast); “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard (Breakout Podcast); “Bobbycast” (Music Podcast); and “The Breakfast Club” (Best Multicultural Podcast). The winners were determined by iHeartRadio listeners. Taking the top prize of Podcast [...]

  • Velvet Buzzsaw trailer

    Netflix Original Movies: What to Look Forward To in 2019

    Following the biggest fourth-quarter worldwide subscriber gain ever and some controversy around increased prices in the U.S., Netflix looks to keep its momentum going into 2019. From Jan. 18 through March, the streaming site will release 10 original films, including action-packed thrillers, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi, quirky comedies, inspirational dramas, an artistic horror movie and a viral [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Release of Docs to Reveal How Facebook Made Money Off Children

    Documents related to a 2012 lawsuit against Facebook in which children, sometimes unwittingly, spent their parents’ money on games via the social site will be unsealed, according to a Monday ruling from the United States District Court. The court gave Facebook ten days to file unredacted documents in accordance with the ruling. The 2012 lawsuit [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Sets Up New Product Group for AR Glasses (Report)

    Facebook has restructured its augmented and virtual reality research division and set up a new group tasked with building augmented reality (AR) glasses, according to a new Business Insider report. Facebook acknowledged the move in a statement given to the publication, saying that the move affected “a few hundred people.” The group has already built [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content