Spotify ends direct music uploads for indie artists

It believes its energy is better spent elsewhere, and some artists agree.

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Jon Fingas
July 1, 2019 5:29 PM
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Indie artists will no longer have the option to upload music directly to Spotify -- not that they'll necessarily mind. Spotify is shutting down the upload beta test after determining that its efforts were better spent elsewhere. Feedback from musicians suggests that Spotify should instead "lean into" the work of existing distribution partners, according to the company. It would also pour more of its energy into unique benefits, such as listener metrics and a playlist submission tool.

Spotify will stop accepting new songs through the upload program at the end of July, and those who've already released material will need to find new providers beyond that point.

It's not shocking that Spotify would close the initiative. It was theoretically more convenient, but there wasn't much point unless a musician was content with remaining exclusive to Spotify. Artists who wanted to reach Apple Music, Deezer and other services would have to go through a third-party distributor regardless -- why make extra work by using Spotify's feature? This shouldn't greatly affect your access to the music in question, but it does indicate that Spotify and its rivals will have to try other strategies if they're going to position themselves as havens for indie tunes.

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