Spotify offers free direct uploads for indie artists

Several hundred independent acts are included in the beta at launch.

Spotify is making life easier for indie artists who want to get their music on the service by letting them directly upload their own tracks without having to go through an intermediary like a label or distributor. The free feature is launching in beta in Spotify for Artists.

The company collaborated with performers such as Noname, Michael Brun, VIAA and Hot Shade to develop the upload tool. Several hundred US-based artists are participating in the beta from the jump, and Spotify will invite more to join over the next few months.

Those taking part can preview what their albums, EPs, mixtapes or singles will look like to listeners before releasing them. Artists will also be able to edit the metadata after their songs are published on Spotify. They can view their royalty payments alongside other analytics in Spotify for Artists.

It's a move that should help independent artists get their songs heard on one of the most popular music streaming services around. Back in July, Spotify started letting artists and labels submit unreleased tracks to editors of curated playlists for consideration, and as of earlier this year it was reportedly offering indie artists advance payments to license their music to the service.

The latest feature could affect Soundcloud, where artists have long been able to upload their music, especially as Spotify opens up the tool to more artists.