Spotify shuts down direct music upload trial for independent artists

Sad news for aspiring singers and indie musicians.  In less than a year, Spotify has made the move to shut down its trial program that allows independent artists to upload their original songs.

The music streaming giant will revert to requiring working with labels or pre-approved distributors before musicians can get on-boarded. The beta testing of the music platform’s upload tool can no longer be used after July 30, 2019. The direct-upload test was launched in September of last year. It was a way to increase the exposure of unsigned artists by uploading their music and getting paid.

Spotify had run into problems regarding how the music distribution rights are monitored. In a blog post the streaming giant wrote last Monday:

“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.”

With the cancellation of the direct-upload feature, indie artists will need to sign up with licensed distributors to access the Spotify for Artists tool. The distributors then handle licensing, distribution and fees for streaming royalties. Spotify’s preferred distributors include EmuBands, CD Baby and its own minor investment, DistroKid.

Last year, Spotify has said, “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.”As compensation artist who have released their songs through the beta test will receive discount codes from these distributors.

Ben Hornery
Ben Hornery
Ben is is a senior journalist and sport columnist for Best in Australia. He previously worked for the BC and other radio stations.
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