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'. 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 their 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 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!) theCOVID-19pandemic dissipates.
YouTube launched a 'Fan Funding' virtual tip jar feature for creators in 2014, but later retired it. In 2017, YouTube essentially replaced this tip jar with 'Super Chat', which enables fans to pay to have their live chat messages highlighted; creators then earn a share of this money.
One of Spotify's new partners,Cash App, has pledged a $1m fund for artists in the US and UK on the service as part of today's announcement, which has the double benefit of helping acts during a difficult time... while also monetarily incentivising them to use Cash App rather than PayPal.me.
How that fund works: Spotify for Artists users that submit their “$cashtag” username as their Artist Fundraising Pick — and secure at least one monetary contribution through Spotify — will receive an extra$100in their account from Cash App, until a collective total of $1 million has been contributed.
"I've been usingCash App to raise money for a while but now that listeners can contribute through Spotify, it's going to make a big difference," he said. "With touring now impossible, it's never been harder for artists to make ends meet, so the extra contributions from Cash App and listeners alike will really help when we need it most."