Spotify is introducing a new feature to help musicians make it through the coronavirus pandemic. The next time you visit an artist’s profile page, you may see a link that will let you donate money to help them out. You’ll find these “Fundraising Picks” next to the existing Artist’s Pick section musicians use to highlight a specific piece of music they think you’ll like.
Some of the people who are already using the feature include Tyrese Pope, Boy Scouts, Benjamin Ingrosso and Marshmellow. At launch, the feature supports Cash App, GoFundMe and PayPal.me. Moreover, as part of a partnership the streaming giant has signed with Cash App, artists in the US and UK who link to their Cash App username and collect at least one donation of any size will get an additional $100 from a pool of $1 million -- which works out to 10,000 musicians getting extra support.
At the moment, it seems you'll only see the fundraising links on Spotify's mobile app; when I went to find them on desktop, they weren't there. In addition to raising money for themselves and their crews, musicians can also collect donations for organizations such as MusiCares and Help Musicians. Spotify has published a breakdown of best practices to help people get started.
"Given the urgency and impact of the COVID-19 crisis, we're working as quickly as we can to develop this new product and get it out to as many artists as possible," the company said. "However, we've never built a fundraising feature like this before. We consider this a first version that will evolve as we learn how to make it as helpful as possible for the music community."
The feature addition follows the announcement of Spotify’s COVID-19 Music Relief project, which will see the company match donations dollar-for-dollar (up to a maximum of $10 million) to a group of verified organizations that are offering financial relief to artists and industry professional. How much the company’s latest feature will help musicians will depend on how much money people can afford to donate. The coronavirus pandemic has hurt the earning potential of a whole host of different people, not just creatives. Still, as with any situation, some help is better than no help at all.