Spotify has rolled out a series of new initiatives designed to support musicians struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. The highlight is the Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief program, which aims to raise $20 million for artists in need. Additionally, the streaming giant has announced a new feature that will help artists personally fundraise, as well as temporarily waiving fees for its suite of Spotify Creator Tools.
Spotify made the announcement in a blog post on its official website. “Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Spotify has engaged partners across the industry to discuss how we can support artists and the creative community who have been deeply impacted by the effects of the virus,” the company wrote. “Though streaming continues to play a key role in connecting creators with their fans, numerous other sources of revenue have been interrupted or stopped altogether by this crisis.”
Spotify’s COVID-19 Music Relief has already teamed up with existing charities including MusiCares, PRS Foundation, and Help Musicians, and they’re currently looking for more partners worldwide. The company will match donations dollar for dollar, up to $10 million, with a goal of raising $20 million total. If interested, pledge to the charity of your choice at the program website, and Spotify will make it double.
The artist fundraising feature hasn’t yet gone live, but soon it will allow fans to directly support their favorite musicians. Artists will have the option to link their Spotify pages to a verified fundraising destination. The money can be directed to the artist personally, to a different artist in need, or to another cause that they deem worthy. Spotify will not take a cut of the contributions.
Finally, the Spotify Creator Tools have been temporarily tweaked to reduce the burden on those still creating at home. The talent marketplace SoundBetter is foregoing its revenue share, the audio recorder Soundtrap is offering free extended trials for teachers and educators, and podcast platform Anchor is waiving fees on its Listener Support Feature for the next six months starting in April.
Spotify made these announcements at a time when its own revenues have started to dip. Music streaming and album sales are down during the pandemic, with streaming taking a 7.3% hit. Before that, though, Spotify was just about printing money, and major labels were making $1 million an hour off of streaming. But it could be worse; the film industry has been hit even harder than music, and is now expected lose $20 billion this year.