Last week, Spotify said that more than 50,000 musicians were already using its new ‘Artist Fundraising Pick’ feature for fan donations, either to themselves and their teams, or to music relief charities. But is it working well? Vice has interviewed 13 independent artists who’ve been using the feature to find out.

The reactions are… mixed. “I’m not very inclined to tell my supporters to go there because I’d rather direct them to my website or Bandcamp page, where I have more control and [can] communicate with them directly if I want,” said Dave Benton of Trace Mountains. “No, it hasn’t helped, and again, I don’t feel comfortable promoting it when there are others who need it more,” added Domenic Palermo of Nothing. “It works well. However, the donations are sporadic,” said Zola Jesus. Interestingly, though, there are positive thoughts about ‘tipping’ features being part of streaming more generally. “If every album or song came with a ‘Tip Jar’ button next to it from here on out, I think we’d eventually see a great revenue stream for artists, managers, and labels,” said Wesley Bunch of Suburban Living. “I would love to see these features stay in place when this is all over.” Benton, however, offered an alternative view. “I think the only reason it’s necessary is because of the power imbalance between the musicians and the platforms that profit off of the collective value of their work.”

The full article is well worth a read.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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