Earlier this year, Spotify’s chief content and advertising business officer Dawn Ostroff said that nearly 370,000 artists had featured tickets or merch on their profiles, and promised that “looking ahead we’re going to focus on powering that revenue stream too”.
Today we’re seeing part of that plan: a new partnership with ecommerce firm Shopify. Artists will be able to link their Shopify stores with their Spotify profiles, choosing three items to feature on the latter.
The integration is in beta, during which artists around the world will be able to do this, but the merch will only be seen by listeners in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Shopify will be offering a 90-day free trial of its service to Spotify artists who are signing up for the first time, as part of the deal.
“We want to provide artists with as many resources as possible to help turn listeners into fans, fans into superfans and, ultimately, help artists earn more,” said Spotify for Artists head Camille Hearst.
“The integration of Shopify’s powerful backend for powering commerce presents a significant step forward in our efforts to help artists maximise additional revenue streams and give them agency over their careers.”
This is just the latest stage of Spotify’s merchandise strategy, which kicked off in December 2013 with a partnership with D2C company Topspin.
When that company was acquired by Beats Music (which was then bought by Apple) Spotify switched partners to a company called BandPage, in August 2014. Then, when BandPage was acquired by YouTube in 2016, Spotify switched again: to an integration with Merchbar.
What does today’s news mean for that latter deal? We asked Spotify, and a spokesperson told us that the Shopify integration is currently only available for listeners in the five countries listed earlier: so Merchbar will continue in all the other countries – but also those five, sitting alongside Shopify.
One benefit for Spotify: Shopify is a public company valued at $185.5bn, so this time around, it shouldn’t have to worry about one of its music-streaming rivals snapping up its merch partner and forcing another switch…
The news follows Shopify’s recent expansion of its partnership with TikTok, in a pilot of that service’s ‘TikTok Shopping’ feature.
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