You’ll hopefully have seen our story yesterday on Spotify’s new tests of a tool for artists to directly upload their music to its platform – including our thoughts on why it’s less a distributor-killer, and more just the latest reason why those companies need to focus on added-value services for their artist clients.
In an opinion piece published for MBW yesterday, distributor Ditto’s CEO Lee Parsons made the same point. “Spotify’s announcement today brings yet more choice to the table – good thing. And it shines an even brighter torch on whether certain artist partners are really contributing enough to an act’s career to justify their fee – another good thing,@ he wrote. “Quite frankly, any record label or so-called ‘aggregator’ that still has ‘digital distribution’ as their sole core USP in 2018 is doomed to fail. Digital distribution has not been a magic potion for a decade. In 2018, it’s the bog standard, bottom-of-the-heap, anyone-can-do-that expectation.”
Meanwhile, in a comment posted on Digital Music News, CD Baby’s director of marketing Kevin Breuner suggested global scale remains a selling point for distributors. “The music fan community is more fractured than ever when it comes to how/where they listen to music, so focusing solely on one platform greatly reduces revenue opportunities and exposure to new fans,” he suggested. Distributors are certainly saying the right things: the key will be delivering on them, if and when direct-uploads expand on Spotify and to its rivals.