In the underground, digging is the key. Every Drum & Bass enthusiast has at least once in his life spent hours looking for more hidden and exclusive, yet premium content. Recently, the streaming leader has chosen to open up a new strategy: artists will be able to upload their tracks directly on their platform. This may not be much of an astonishment considering the exponential growth of the streaming giants. In view of this, the distance imposed by the labels between Spotify itself and the artists may be drastically reduced.

It is currently in bêta-mode and only a few thousand US artists have been able to test it by invitation. However, it could expand to more users on less restrictive access in the future.

The comparison with Soundcloud is quite obvious here. Users will be able to schedule their tracks but also have access to built-in analytics and page customization tools. They will need to own the copyrights of their work. In addition, the platform will implement filters to protect intellectual property. However, this process might also restrain the possibilities of uploading remixes, VIP’s and bootlegs, which are very common among our favorite genre.

“The  best  part  of  this  is  that  the  option  is  completely  free”

This will inevitably open up a new type of competition between Spotify and the labels. Several artists have gained a lot of popularity using streaming platforms. Concerning Drum & Bass, this reminds us of the Jump Up scene. It remained very underground during its early age but online streaming gave it a much wider audience. For instance, Noisia has already highlighted the young producer Killill on their radio, though he only teases short clips on Soundcloud. That being said, we can’t consider Spotify as a proper label and they don’t want to become one either.

The best part of this is that the option is completely free. The users won’t need a third party like Tunecore to upload. Furthermore, Spotify will pay the artists up to 50% monthly. Actually, it is more than the labels usually give to the artists, but less than what the labels get from the platform (approximately 52%).

This marks a considerable change for the leader of the streaming platforms. Could we see a potential flood of it in the future? On the one hand, the labels form a barrier that contributes to filter the uploaded content. Indeed, they supposedly tend to bring quality content. On the other hand, could Spotify have a bigger place in the underground scene and bring up some new talents? Besides, we can wonder if labels will appreciate this move. This might lead to a deterioration of some of their relationships.

“We  can  remember  how  excited  the  fans  were  when  a  lot  of  labels,  producers, and  DJ’s  announced  the “I Love Drum and Bass playlist.”

Drum & Bass already has a good presence on Spotify. We can remember how excited the fans were when a lot of labels, producers, and DJ’s announced the I Love Drum & Bass playlist. We can hope that more initiatives like this will be taken by independent producers in the future.

Therefore, should we expect a massive change of Spotify? Yes, we can guess so, but it is a bit of a “wait and see“.