×

Spotify Shuts Down Ability for Independent Artists to Upload Music Directly

After less than a year, Spotify has decided shut down a test program that let independent artists upload their songs directly to the music-streaming giant. Instead, musicians — as they have had to do previously — will need to work with pre-approved distributor to get on-boarded to Spotify, if they’re not repped by a label.

The beta of Spotify’s upload tool will be discontinued July 30, 2019. The original idea with Spotify’s direct-upload test, launched last September, was to provide a simpler way for unsigned artists to get their music on the service and get paid. But the company seems to have determined the complexity involved in monitoring the rights associated with music distribution made the whole thing more trouble than it was worth — and at the same time, Spotify wants to support its distributor partners.

Spotify said hundreds of artists used the direct-upload beta test, but didn’t provide a specific number. A rep said the size of the program was deliberately kept to a small number during the closed beta period.

“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,” Spotify wrote in a blog post Monday.

Going forward, indie artists will need to sign up with a Spotify-approved distribution company, which provide direct access to the Spotify for Artists tool and handles licensing and distribution and pays streaming royalties. Its “preferred” distributors are DistroKid (in which Spotify owns a minority investment), CD Baby and EmuBands.

In the past year, Spotify said, “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.”

According to the company, the Spotify for Artists tool is used by more than 300,000 creators to track their music on Spotify. The Spotify playlist submission tool has been used by over 36,000 artists to get playlisted for the very first time on the service since it launched a year ago.

Spotify said it will be sending artists who have released music through the beta direct-upload program discount codes from preferred distributors.

More Digital

  • Illustration of the video streaming company

    Netflix Q3 Preview: The Calm Before the Streaming-Wars Storm?

    Wall Street is expecting Netflix to hit or slightly beat subscriber and financial targets when it reports third quarter 2019 results on Wednesday after market close. But then what? Debate among analysts continues to rage about what will happen to Netflix’s market-leading position once it’s facing big new rivals in Disney Plus and Apple TV [...]

  • countdown

    Apple Takes Down Viral 'Countdown' Horror App, STX Brings It to Android Instead

    An app that can predict the date and time of your death may have been too much for Apple to stomach: The iPhone maker removed a viral app inspired by the upcoming horror movie “Countdown” a few days ago, putting an end to its meteoric rise. Before its removal, “Countdown” had surpassed TikTok, YouTube and [...]

  • daydream view

    Google Ships Pixel 4 Without Daydream VR Support, Stops Selling Daydream Viewer

    Google is effectively phasing out its Daydream virtual reality (VR) platform: The company’s latest flagship Pixel 4 flagship phone, which Google unveiled at a press event in New York Tuesday, won’t support Google’s Daydream mobile VR platform anymore, a spokesperson confirmed to Variety. The company will also stop selling the Daydream viewer, but continue to [...]

  • Google Wifi

    The New Google Wifi Ships in Three Colors Because Good-Looking Routers Work Better

    When Google revamped its Wifi router product, it extended the devices reach and doubled their speed, while also adding a full-blown smart speaker with Google Assistant. But the company paid just as much attention to Google Wifi’s design, down to the decision to ship the product in three colors. The surprising reason for this: Google [...]

  • Nest Mini

    Google Introduces New $49 Nest Mini Speaker With On-Board Machine Learning, Stereo Pairing

    Google introduced a revamped version of its entry-level smart speaker at a press event in New York Tuesday: The new $49 Nest Mini speaker effectively replaces its Home Mini predecessor with bigger sound, a built-in machine learning chip for faster responses, ultrasound for proximity detection and the ability to pair 2 speakers for inexpensive stereo [...]

  • Google Stadia Game Streaming Service Launching

    Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Service Will Launch Nov. 19

    Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh gave us an update on the company’s game streaming service Stadia during the company’s fall hardware event in New York Tuesday: Stadia will be available to the public on Nov. 19. Stadia promises to stream games directly from the cloud, with no need to buy a full-blown game console. Consumers [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content