Spotify has added the ability for artists distributing music via its platform to offer merchandise to fans without taking any commission on sales of t-shirts et al. It was previously running a pilot of the feature with 200+ artists but has now opened it up to all artists using its platform.
It’s partnering with Topspin for the merch feature, which also isn’t taken any kind of cut on sales (although artists are required to sign up for a Topspin ArtistLink account to activate the feature).
With no direct pie-slicing going on, this looks like a sweetener for artists to give them an incentive to continue streaming their music via Spotify — by helping to foster additional revenue streams, beyond paying to play the music itself.
Spotify has, after all, suffered various tongue-lashings at the hands of artists unhappy with its business model (last year Radiohead’s Thom York dubbed it “
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