Music streaming service giant, Spotify, recently unveiled a new strategy to shake up the recording industry by enabling artists to retain more control over their work.
Beginning September 20, certain Spotify artists will be able to directly upload their own music, pending they own the copyrights and are not in discussion with any record labels, and choose when it’s going to be released, and what it will look like on the app/site.
While this is a push to empower independent musicians and to make sure that artists are receiving more money for their efforts, not every independent artist will be able to take advantage of their new Spotify for Artists accounts. Wanting to avoid becoming the next Soundcloud or Bandcamp, Spotify has decided that only particular artists will be initially welcomed.
Noname, Michael Brun, VIAA, and Hot Shade are the most prominent artists dabbling with this new service, with “a few hundred U.S.-based independent artists,” also being eligible. Future artists can sign up for a mailing list and wait to be sent an invitation.
Prior to this service, independent artists were reliant on similar services, such as CD Baby, TuneCore, and Distrokid, which either charged a subscription or charged users per release. And even in those circumstances, the royalties being received by any particular artists were almost still as slim as those received by artists employed by more traditional labels.
The biggest thing for artists is Spotify’s approach to the matter. Using a service called Stripe, Spotify makes monthly payments to artists, allowing them to keep the entirety of their royalties, but also eligible to collect 50% of Spotify’s net revenue. Information will be stored, tracked, and analyzed to determine how well an artist or an album is performing.
In an interview with Billboard, Spotify for Artists’ senior product lead, Kene Anoliefo said, “We’ve focused on making the tool easy, flexible and transparent. There will be no limit or constraint on how often they can upload. We think that can open up a really interesting creative space for artists to begin sharing their music to their fans on Spotify.”