Spotify’s recent announcement of tests for direct uploads from artists has plenty of implications for digital distributors, the most immediate of which is the pressing need to talk publicly about how un-worried they are about the implications.
Believe CEO Denis Ladegaillerie is the latest distribution boss to explain why he’s feeling relaxed, including the fact that 70% of Believe’s revenues this year will come from deeper ‘artist development deals’ rather than pure distribution. “Distribution will remain a significant part of our business and, quite frankly, I don’t believe for one second that Spotify’s offer is going to change that business,” Ladegaillerie told MBW. “There’s one very simple reason for that: Spotify and companies like us have two completely different and, to some extent, conflicting missions.” He went on to suggest that Spotify’s move is mainly about improving its margin, and establishing closer relationships with artists to persuade them to drive their fans towards Spotify rather than rival streaming services. “Whose interest are you serving there? You’re driving the interest of bringing more users to a single platform. Does that help the artist – uploading direct to Spotify rather than going through a service like TuneCore? The answer is no… speaking quite frankly, I’m not worried at all.”