Announced back in September last year alongside the independent release of Chicago rapper Noname’s project Room 25, Spotify’s direct upload program allowed unsigned artists publish their music on the streaming platform without paying for a distribution service such as DistroKid or Tunecore.
In a note published to their Spotify For Artists blog, the streaming giant cited a number of reasons for their decision to end the service, claiming that the beta revealed a number of issues relating to tracing metadata and leaked songs being uploaded illegally.
The insights and feedback we received from artists in the beta led us to believe:
The most impactful way we can improve the experience of delivering music to Spotify for as many artists and labels as possible is to lean into the great work our distribution partners are already doing to serve the artist community. Over the past year, we’ve vastly improved our work with distribution partners to ensure metadata quality, protect artists from infringement, provide their users with instant access to Spotify for Artists, and more.
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 (which more than 300,000 creators use to gain new insight into their audience) and our playlist submission tool (which more than 36,000 artists have used to get playlisted for the very first time since it launched a year ago). We have a lot more planned here in the coming months.
If you’re currently using the direct upload platform, you’ll need to migrate your tracks over to a distribution service in order for them to remain listed on Spotify, with the service claiming to offer discounted rates for those who choose their preferred distribution services.
Find out more about the closure of the service here.