Spotify recently announced their decision to cease their beta feature and discontinue all distribution programs. In September 2018, Spotify announced Spotify for Artists, a beta feature that allowed independent artists to upload their music directly to the platform bypassing labels or digital aggregators.
Spotify preferred artist distributors like DistroKid, CD Baby, and Emu Bands. Spotify believed that these distributors met their highest standards for providing quality metadata and protecting against infringement. These providers offered instant access to Spotify for Artists for all of their users.
Artists who weren’t signed to major labels had to pay a fee to a third-party service like Ditto Music, CD Baby or other similar platforms to upload their music to Spotify. This decision has further caused these third-party services to enhance their business modules.
“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,” stated Spotify in their blog post.
Last year during the launch of the beta version, Lee Parsons, Founder & CEO, Ditto Music believed that the aggregators need to go beyond just distributing music.
“Aggregators as a whole should be offering more than just putting music into stores to justify a fee. Those days are gone. Artists need sustainable help at every level of their career. It’s not just about uploading to one store,” said Parsons.
Ending July, Spotify shall stop accepting any new uploads through Spotify for Artists, and artists will need to move their already released content to another provider.
Spotify in their blog post stated,
“The best way for us to serve artists and labels is to focus our resources on developing tools in areas where Spotify can uniquely benefit them — like Spotify for Artists (which more than 300,000 creators use to gain new insight into their audience) and our playlist submission tool (which more than 36,000 artists have used to get play listed for the very first time since it launched a year ago). We have a lot more planned here in the coming months.”
Spotify further added that they were incredibly proud to have played a small part in the music they released.
“Thank you to the artists who participated in our upload beta,” read the post, “We’re incredibly proud to have played a small part in the music they released. Spotify wouldn’t be what it is today without artists and labels who are willing to collaborate with us to build a better experience for creators and listeners.”
The announcement instantly created a buzz amongst the distributors involved where Jon Bahr, VP of Creator Services, CD Baby, post-Spotify’s announcement, tweeted,
“If you are an artist impacted by the closing of Spotify’s Direct Uploads, as your email from Spotify stated, CD Baby’s Creator Services team is here to help with this transition and your future releases.”
According to CD Baby, Spotify’s decision to leave distribution has reinforced the importance of content providers. Also, it promises to help artists whose music is being removed as a result of the service’s conclusion.
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