As Spotify reportedly inches closer to an IPO, the company continues to build out its presence as an e-commerce platform for artists to market themselves and generate revenue beyond basic music royalties. Today, it is turning on an integration and partnership with BandPage, a company that lets musicians create profiles for themselves and then sell merchandise, tickets to secret shows, experiences and other products to their fans.
Spotify and BandPage have announced a partnership that will bring BandPage’s digital storefront to the market-leading subscription streaming music service and its 40 million users. The deal will allow the 500,000-plus artists using the BandPage platform to list merchandise — widely defined as everything from t-shirts to secret shows, all access concert passes and other exclusive artist-to-fan offers — in the Spotify player, offering direct commercial potential on the platform. “We want to make it as easy as possible for an artist to sell the merch they already have,” Mark Williamson, director of artist services for Spotify, tellsBillboard. “Less of a walled garden, but more ‘What have you got to engage?'” Spotify has been criticized for some time now for offering a low-cost or free alternative to purchasing music while paying out what some artists have deemed unfairly low royalty rate on each stream, though these rates are some ways determined by artists’ contracts. (To highlight the situation, and benefit itself, the band Vulfpeck cleverly (and cheekily) took advantage of the streaming service’s system with a silent album that earned it about $20,000.) But here, Williamson says Spotify won’t be taking any cut of sales or fees from sales through the deal. “There’s no commissions or fees on Spotify’s side — we’re presenting the opportunity to drive revenue and engagements,” says Williamson.