×

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.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • iQIYI headquarters building in Beijing

    China’s iQIYI in Talks for Indonesia Expansion

    Chinese streaming firm iQIYI is in negotiations to expand further into Southeast Asia through a venture with Indonesia’s Media Nusantara Citra. iQIYI announced its first step outside Chinese-majority territories in June, when it revealed a linkup in Malaysia with pay-TV leader Astro. It also operates in Taiwan. In April, the company said that it planned [...]

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    Spotify Triples Free-Trial Period on Premium Service

    Spotify today extended the free-trial period for its Premium service from one month to three, tripling the amount of time listeners can take full advantage of the streaming giant’s offerings without paying for them. According to the announcement, the offer is “always-on/not limited time,” and will roll out across Spotify Premium plans globally: Individual and [...]

  • Moviepass

    MoviePass Confirms Security Lapse May Have Exposed Customer Credit Card Data

    MoviePass, the struggling movie ticket subscription service, confirmed that a security issue may have exposed customers’ records online, including credit card info. In a statement, MoviePass said Wednesday that the security lapse was recently discovered and its system was immediately secured. News of the data breach was first reported Tuesday by TechCrunch, which alleged that [...]

  • Tycho weather app

    This Website Creates Spotify & Apple Music Playlists Based on Your Local Weather

    Electronica musician Tycho launched a clever promotional website for his new album “Weather” this week: Visitors of Tycho’s website can use a web app to generate a playlist based on their local weather. Playlists can be saved to both Spotify and Apple Music, and consist of 25 songs, both from Tycho’s catalog as well as [...]

  • AT&T TV

    AT&T TV: An Unskinny Streaming Bundle That Looks a Lot Like Traditional Pay TV

    AT&T this week launched AT&T TV, a new subscription streaming television service that uses an Android-based internet set-top, in 10 markets. But the way it’s priced and packaged looks very similar to cable and satellite TV services — in other words, AT&T TV isn’t targeted at the cord-cutter crowd. It’s basically designed as a way [...]

  • Sofia Wylie arrives at Variety's Power

    Disney Channel Enlists Duplass Brothers for YouTube Hip-Hop Dance Series Starring Sofia Wylie

    Disney Channel’s first original scripted series made exclusively for release on YouTube is “Shook,” a hip-hop dance short-form series starring Sofia Wylie, produced by Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass. “Shook” will debut Saturday, Sept. 28, on Disney Channel’s YouTube channel. The scripted single-camera show centers on 15-year-old Mia (Wylie), who yearns to dance professionally but [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Is Getting Rid of Messaging Feature

    YouTube is killing off a feature that allowed users to share videos and other messages with each other. YouTube Messages, which was first introduced in January of 2017, will be turned off by September 18, the company announced this week. “We’re constantly reevaluating our priorities and have decided to discontinue YouTube’s native direct messaging feature [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content