Starting at the end of July, Spotify will be phasing out its upload beta program. The initiative allowed independent artists to share their music directly to Spotify. This was an attempt to remove the need for distributors such as Distrokid. With this in mind, Spotify has already purchased a minority stake in the service.
Last September, Spotify selected a specified group of independent artists. They gave this beta group the ability to upload their tracks directly to Spotify, without a 3rd party distributor. The service was exclusively offered through Spotify For Artists. Phasing out this new feature creates a unique opportunity for Spotify. With over 300,000 content creators, Spotify will be focusing their energy in different ways. They will continue to explore how they can better serve their artists in achieving success. Within a year, a new playlist submission tool for artists has helped over 36,000 artists get playlisted, increasing their visibility.
Spotify Listened to Feedback from Artists
Spotify shared a blog post earlier today (July 1) highlighting the reasoning behind closing the program:
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. Over the past year, 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.
All in all, bypassing distributors causes a variety of issues. Phasing out direct uploads seems like the move here. Services like SoundCloud have faced mountains of copyright issues. Furthermore, distributors serve an important purpose in the clearance process for independent artists and their music. Hopefully, this will give Spotify more ways to help promote artists in the future.