In a tweet on the official account shortly after the news, SoundCloud posted a gif of a shop sign (“Sorry, we’re closed”) in which the store then opens for business. “Here for all creators since day one,” added the subtly gloating post.
The Spotify beta programme was launched less than a year ago as part of CEO Daniel Ek’s bold vision for one million artists to live off their work.
“Today, we notified participating artists about our decision to close the beta program, along with how we can help them migrate their music to other distributors over the next month,” said Spotify in their announcement.
“We’re working with our distribution partners to help make this transition as simple as possible for the artists who uploaded music through the beta. At the end of this month, we’ll stop accepting any new uploads through Spotify for Artists, and artists will need to move their already released content to another provider.”
SoundCloud has long been a favoured platform for DIY artists and it launched its own distribution service earlier this year.
Jeff Ponchick, VP, head of Repost at SoundCloud, has written a blog post in response to Spotify’s move. Independent artists affected by changes at Spotify and distribution platform Stem are being encouraged to sign up to SoundCloud.
“It all boils down to putting the power in the hands of the creator,” he wrote. “At SoundCloud, our commitment is to not only be the place where creators start, but a platform and toolset for creators to drive sustainable income and get discovered.
“SoundCloud is committed to giving creators of all levels the tools to share their work instantly, monetise directly and distribute to all the major streaming platforms like Spotify, Amazon, Apple and more to reach as many fans as possible. We look forward to the future of distribution for all tiers of music – and other investments to come – to allow all creators to grow their career.”
Spotify will now focus on developing tools for artists and continue with its playlist submission feature, which 36,000 artists have used to get playlisted in the last year.