Spotify announced Sunday that all musicians who use the streaming service can now display and sell merchandise on their artist profile pages, without having to pay a commission to Spotify or its partner, entertainment marketing startup Topspin Media. Musicians have to create a free Topspin ArtistLink account use the new feature.
A company blog post explained the new feature, noting "we're really excited that Spotify's 24 million music-loving users can now see merchandise and concerts while listening to their favorite artists, and that we, in turn, can provide additional revenue opportunities for artists of all sizes."
Spotify has been criticized in the past for having a business model that doesn't give artists, especially up-and-coming ones, much of a return. But the company has made strides to be more transparent, setting up a dedicated artist hub on the site this fall that details suggested best practices and the formula they use for paying royalties.
It would seem that giving artists more avenues to earn money can only be in Spotify's best interests as a growing enterprise, especially with the imminent launch of music streaming service Beats Music, from music industry veterans Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine and Trent Reznor.