Independent artists will no longer be able to upload directly to Spotify


Spotify is removing its direct-upload programme, halting its role as a music distributor.

Online streaming platform Spotify announced yesterday (1 July) that it will be removing its direct-upload programme, which currently allows independent artists to upload their own music without the use of traditional third-party distributors. The streaming platform introduced Direct Upload Beta in September 2018, but it will close the function at the end of the month after less than a year of it being active. It marks the reversal of Spotify’s decision to become a music distributor.

In a blog post shared on their website yesterday, Spotify revealed: “Today, we notified participating artists about our decision to close the beta program, along with how we can help them migrate their music to other distributors over the next month.” The post goes on to say: “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—like Spotify for Artists… and our playlist submission tool.”

“We’re working with our distribution partners to help make this transition as simple as possible for the artists who uploaded music through the beta. At the end of this month, we’ll stop accepting any new uploads through Spotify for Artists, and artists will need to move their already released content to another provider.”

After the end of July, independent artists will once again have to upload their music to the service via third-party distributors, such as Tunecore, Distrokid and Stem.

According to TechCrunch, a few hundred artists had uploaded music through the beta, and a and a few hundred more had been invited to the test but hadn’t yet uploaded. However, all those who had used the service had to use another distribution service to get their music on other streaming platforms.

Since the launch of the beta, Spotify announced an investment in distribution service DistroKid, which supports cross-platform uploads to Spotify, as well as iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, Google Play, Tidal, YouTube and others.

Read the full statement on Spotify’s website, and revisit our end of year (2018) opinion piece, where we contemplate Spotify, streaming, and independent artists.