Spotify just announced some big news for artists – and their bank accounts.
The streaming platform has long enabled artists to highlight a piece of music on their profile via the ‘Artist’s Pick’ headline.
Now, Spotify has launched a sister version of this feature, ‘Artist Fundraising Pick’, which allows acts to pin a specific destination on their profile where fan can pay them ‘tips’.[PODCAST: Listen to Digital Music Education Series by Jonilar.net ]
Artists wishing to use their Fundraising Pick to encourage their fans to pay money to good causes are welcome to do so – either via GoFundMe, or direct to a range of causes supported by Spotify’s COVID-19 Music Relief project.
However, artists wishing to use Fundraising Pick to encourage their fans to pay them money, can also do so – via a link to one of two endorsed e-wallet services, PayPal.me and Cash App.
The timing of the launch of ‘Artist Fundraising Pick’ is obviously apt, amid a global pandemic that has wiped away any hope of live touring income for artists, while also hurting physical music sales and licensing revenues.
Said Spotify in a blog post today: “Given the urgency and impact of the COVID-19 crisis, we’re working as quickly as we can to develop this new product and get it out to as many artists as possible. However, we’ve never built a fundraising feature like this before. We consider this a first version that will evolve as we learn how to make it as helpful as possible for the music community.”
Time will tell how committed Spotify is to the long-term idea of fans being able to ‘tip’ artists money directly on its platform, or whether these features will be retired after (fingers crossed, everyone!) the COVID-19 pandemic dissipates.
Online fan ‘tipping’ has become commonplace on platforms such as Twitch (via the platform’s ‘Cheering’ feature), and has also become a key tenet of Tencent Music Entertainment’s business in China.