Universal Music discontinues DIY digital distribution
Dhe Universal Music Group digital distributor, Spinnup, will only be available to select musicians starting July 19 this year. The works of other artists will be removed from the platform after that day, it said in a statement on Wednesday. To continue the music on streaming services like Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music or Tidal and Deezer, artists have to switch to another digital distributor. A tool is provided to help with this.
Digital distributors like Spinnup cater to independent artists who want to market their music independently. For a comparatively low annual one-off payment, they can publish their works on Spotify & Co. In the case of Spinnup, for example, it used to be 9.99 euros a year for a single. In return, the musicians usually receive 100 percent of the income from the marketing of their music on the respective services and also retain the rights to the recordings. According to the announcement, artists with “active release subscriptions”, i.e. those whose music is currently being offered on the streaming platforms via Spinnup, will receive a pro rata refund of the subscription costs, calculated on the days not used.
80 former spin-up artists on Universal labels
Publishing music is much easier today than it was in the heyday of the CD, when production, storage and distribution costs were incurred along with production costs. More than 60,000 new songs are now uploaded to Spotify alone every day. The digital sales market is therefore highly competitive. In addition to Spinnup, there are Tunecore from the French company Believe, CDBaby, Distrokid, United Masters and the German provider Recordjet.
For some providers, the attraction of the offer lies not least in establishing contact with artists at an early stage. Ideally, promising musicians from the company’s point of view should be tied to a label in-house. If you want to remain independent, there are various constellations for individual marketing or management services. In addition to Universal, the other two so-called “majors”, Sony and Warner, also have service divisions through which they market artists who are not directly signed to one of the various labels of the industry giants. In the case of Universal (as of mid-2020), 80 former spin-up artists worked with one of these. It is not known how many musicians are currently releasing music via the platform launched in 2013. Universal Music initially did not respond to a request from the FAZ. According to Universal, in November 2016 there were 100,000 artists.
At the beginning of last year, Sony Music took over the service provider AWAL from the British music company Kobalt. Independent artists can apply here. If successful, the first step is sales. Apparently, Spinnup should also function according to this approach from now on.