Spotify takes a stake in DistroKid, will support cross-platform music uploads in Spotify for Artists

Spotify has taken a minority stake in music distribution service, DistroKid, a popular tool used by artists for uploading their music across platforms. The company didn’t confirm the size of its stake, only saying that it made a “passive minority investment.” As a result of the deal, Spotify will also upgrade its Spotify for Artists service to include an integration with DistroKid that allows artists to simultaneously upload content to other platforms.

“For the past five years, DistroKid has served as a go-to service for hundreds of thousands independent artists, helping them deliver their tracks to digital music services around the world, and reaching fans however they choose to consume music,” the company announced in a blog post about the deal.

Spotify was already a partner with DistroKid ahead of this news. However, DistroKid’s service currently allows musicians an easy way to get their tunes to Spotify competitors, too, including Apple, Amazon, Google Play, TIDAL, iHeartRadio, YouTube, Pandora, Deezer, and over 150 other music streaming services and stores.

Given DistroKid’s formerly agnostic position in the industry, Spotify’s investment is likely to cause a stir. It’s unclear for now how Spotify rivals will react to the move.

Spotify declined to disclose any financial details, when asked by TechCrunch, but a spokesperson clarified that it did not acquire the company, does not have a board seat, and that DistroKid remains independent. It also said that it has no rights to see the data from other digital service providers and DistroKid will not share confidential information.

Asked if planned to take a cut of sales of DistroKid subscriptions, currently $19.99 per year, Spotify said it doesn’t have that information to offer at this time. “We’ll announce full details when we’re ready to open the integration to artists,” we were told.

It seems, then, that Spotify – for now, at least – largely wanted to solidify its relationship with DistroKid for the purposes of the work it has planned regarding the upcoming technical integrations, in addition to establishing an expanded business relationship in general.

Spotify says it will soon roll out a new tool that will allow musicians to upload to DistroKid through Spotify for Artists.

Launched out of beta last year, Spotify for Artists is the streaming service’s online dashboard that allows musicians and their management teams a way to easily update their profile information, track their streams, and gain insights about their fan bases. In September 2018, Spotify announced a major new feature for the service as well – music uploads. The company said that artists would be able to use a beta upload feature to send their tracks directly to Spotify, as well as edit the metadata around those files, and track the songs’ performance.

DistroKid’s integration will complement this new feature, by offering the ability to upload elsewhere, too.

Spotify did not say when it expects the integrations to go live, only that it would be in the “near future.”