Spotify ends direct distribution beta test for artists

Spotify announced today that it is ending its beta test of direct distribution for independent artists. The streaming service conducted a trial for nearly a year, which allowed indies to upload their music directly to Spotify rather than relying on a third-party service.

When Spotify introduced the beta in September 2018, the company said that direct distribution was one of the most-requested features on Spotify for Artists. In a new blog post on that platform, Spotify said it has alerted the artists using its tools from the beta and will help them to migrate their music to a different distributor. Spotify already maintains a roster of preferred third-party distributors.

“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,” the blog post said. The company cited the Spotify for Artists dashboard and the playlist submission tool as examples of its more unique offerings.

When Spotify debuted the direct distribution beta test, many in the industry speculated that it was a sign that the streaming company was looking to move more directly into competition with the labels. It seems that the test was just that: a test to see if it could add distribution to its suite of services. Possibly the ongoing efforts to develop its podcast platform have become a greater priority for Spotify.

Anna Washenko