Just when things seemed tense between Spotify and the “big three” music labels, the music streaming giant announced today that it’s opening the door for independent artists to upload their music to the platform for free.
The Stockholm-based company has just rolled out a new account tier called Spotify For Artists, which allows select artists to maintain their own copyrights, essentially cutting out the middle men of distribution (read: major music labels). The announcement comes on the heels of Spotify saying that they “aren’t acting as a music label.”
Spotify For Artists is currently an invite-only beta feature for roughly 200,000 artists users. Spotify elaborates on the feature further on their blog:
“Just like releasing through any other partner, you’ll get paid when fans stream your music on Spotify. Your recording royalties will hit your bank account automatically each month, and you’ll see a clear report of how much your streams are earning right next to the other insights you already get from Spotify for Artists. Uploading is free to all artists, and Spotify doesn’t charge you any fees or commissions no matter how frequently you release music.”
Sound familiar? The move could have the potential to shut down SoundCloud entirely, a company who has been a powerful advocate for independent artists by allowing users to upload original music content for a small fee. Now Spotify is offering the same service, but for free and to a larger audience.
Spotify has previously alluded to wanting to usher in a “new era” for the music industry. They are currently on track to doing just that — by stamping out the competition.