As the popularity of streaming grows the music industry has struggled to catch up, but with a new tool from Spotify is trying to give smaller artists the upper hand. On Thursday Spotify revealed a feature, called Spotify for Artists, that allows independent musicians to upload music directly to its streaming service with any record labels or contracts.
According to an article from Consequence of Sound, Spotify announced the new tool in a press release acknowledging that many artists have wanted an easier way to reach their audience.
“You’ve told us time and time again that sharing your work with the world should be easier,” Spotify announced in a press release, “In the past few months, we’ve been testing an upload tool within Spotify for Artists, because we believe getting new music to your fans should be simple.”
As of now, the service is only reaching out to a couple hundred of independent artists to test out the beta version of the tool. One of the first artists invited to join is Chicago rapper, Noname, who released her album Room 25 on September 14 to critical acclaim.
One of the advantages of the direct service is the ability for artists to be paid for streams without any service charges or commissions and will deposit the income directly into their bank accounts. Artists will also retain ownership of their music’s metadata, and be able to study it to see how each song is received by their audience.
While the announcement seems to be popular, it comes at a troubling time for the Swedish streaming service. In February, Spotify decided to go public on the New York Stock Exchange and was priced at $15 Billion, but the company has not found a way to become profitable.
In July, the company hit 180 million subscribers, but still reported a net loss of $460 million and an operating loss of $105 million.
This is in spite of the fact that a recent mid-year report from the Recording Industry Association of America announced that streaming now makes up 75 percent of the industry’s revenue. However, even with this massive growth, the company has not posted a profit since it launched the service in 2008.
It’s still too soon to say if Spotify for Artists will be able to help the streaming service in the long run, but for now, its potential should leave independent artists optimistic about the future.