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Spotify Enlists Digital Distributor DistroKid To Help Artists Directly Upload Their Songs

Dawn C. Chmielewski

Spotify took another step forward in its efforts to give musicians the tools to release their songs without help of a record label.

The company last month invited a group of independent artists to directly upload their music to the popular music streaming service. The beta program represents a milestone because it allows artists to bypass record labels or third-party distributors who take a cut of the proceeds.

Spotify today said it was working with digital distributor DistroKid to facilitate this process. DistroKid is a service that helps musicians directly distribute their music into online stores and streaming services. In exchange for a flat monthly fee, the service collects royalties and payments and sends 100% of the proceeds to the artist.

“[DistroKid] has been a trusted and reliable partner to Spotify, which is why they’re a natural choice to enhance the experience for artists using our beta upload feature,” Spotify said this morning in a blog post. “As part of this partnership, Spotify has made a passive minority investment in DistroKid.”

The company did not disclose the amount of its investment.

Spotify said it worked with a handful of independent artists, including Noname, Michael Brun, VIAA, and Hot Shade, on the direct upload program. On Sept. 20, it announced it broadened the program to include a few hundred artists, which Spotify said it plans to extend to more performers in the future.

The service said artists will get paid whenever fans stream their music on Spotify. Recording royalties will be deposited automatically each month into the artist’s bank account, and they’ll receive a statement detailing how much these streams earned. Uploading is free to all artists, and Spotify doesn’t charge you any fees or commissions no matter how frequently you release music.

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