Spotify has announced today that is allowing artists to directly upload music to its platform for free through its Spotify For Artists page. This will allow independent artists to skip distributors and their fees and directly upload their music to the platform. They will be able to control the release date and change the metadata on their own timetable.
The program is still in beta, so not every independent musician will be able to sign on right away, but now they are inviting more artists to join the beta. This sounds like a great idea if you are an artist and not a distributor. If you are a distributor, then this sucks.
Kene Anoliefo, senior product lead for Spotify’s creator marketplace tells The Verge, artists will get a 50/50 split on the net revenue.
"We created a pretty simple and fair deal for uploading music where artists receive 50 percent of Spotify’s net revenue, and Spotify also accounts to publishers and collection societies for additional royalties related to the musical composition,” Anoliefo said.
Spotify recommends that artists give Spotify at least five days ahead of the planned release so they can make sure there aren’t duplications and to check for potentially infringing content. This will put more of a burden on Spotify to check for unlicensed music. If you want to upload your mashup or unofficial Drake remix tonight, this won’t be the way to do it. It may find a way on the platform, but it won’t stay for long. Also the spontaneity of sudden releases may not happen with this.
This won’t eliminate distributors. There will still be the need to get on other platforms, especially around the world, which don’t have these types of initiatives yet. Labels use them to upload music to streaming and download services. Some may start to do so, but the smaller ones may decide against it if they don’t want to police all of the music uploaded to their platforms.