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Spotify introduces new feature allowing artists to upload their music independently

KC Orcutt

 // Sep 20, 2018

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Spotify is upping the ante when it comes to being a resource for independent artists specifically.

As announced Thursday (Sept. 20), the streaming giant announced that it is rolling out a new beta feature allowing artists to upload their music directly to the platform, completely bypassing labels, third parties and distribution services.

The feature, which is currently operating on an invite-only basis, will be available solely as part of the Spotify for Artists program. Prior to this development, artists who aren't signed to a major label have to pay a fee to a third-party service, such as Tunecore, in order for their music to be successfully uploaded to Spotify.

According to Spotify, the feature won't work like SoundCloud per se, where the music is instantly available, but will instead give artists the control of their chosen release dates. In addition to uploading music, artists will also be able to upload accompany artwork, chose a release date, input describing information (such as album vs. single) and preview how it will look once live.

Additionally, Spotify recommends artists upload at least five days ahead of the planned release date, in order to help the streaming service determine if the content includes any potential copyright infringements. This will also allow Spotify to determine if the music is being delivered via other methods, which will help prevent duplicate uploads.

When it comes to royalty payment, a rep for Spotify shared with the Verge that the company will over artists 50% of Spotify's net revenue and 100% of royalties for songs they open, referring to the deal as "pretty simple and fair."

"Artists have told us that releasing their music on Spotify can sometimes be a little nerve-wracking, so we wanted to give as much transparency to the process as possible," Kene Anoliefo, a senior product lead on Spotify's creator marketplace team, shared in a statement with Rolling Stone. "The new features we built really speak to ease and flexibility. We're working with independent artists and their teams to own their copyright and distribute their content."

At the time of the roll-out, the service will be available for free.

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