Spotify is partnering with e-commerce giant Shopify as part of a new beta integration launching Wednesday (Oct. 20) to allow artists to sell merchandise directly through the streaming service, the company tells Billboard.
The move will allow artists across the world to earn additional revenue from the streaming service, which has over 365 million monthly users in 178 markets.
This isn’t Spotify’s first foray into merchandising as the company has had a partnership with Merchbar since 2016, but adoption of that has been limited. Spotify says artists will be able to choose three items to display from their Shopify stores on their artist profiles.
In an interview with Billboard, Camille Hearst, the head of Spotify for Artists, said the goal for that program is to provide “the information and resources that artists need to grow their fan bases and ultimately get paid for them,” and the Shopify partnership is the latest example of that. “As we think about what are all the ways we can help artists get paid, what are the ways we can help artists maximize additional revenue streams, merch is one of the things that comes top of mind,” Hearst says. “That’s why we are announcing this partnership with Shopify because we think it really is the next step in creating a holistic audience development platform.”
“It’s just a natural fit for Spotify in many ways,” Hearst continues. “It’s exactly what artists will need to give them nimble control over their merch. It’s really simple to decide what items are featured on an artist’s page and it’s easy to swap new merch in and out. Inventory management, any artist will tell you can be a pain. I’ve done a ton of interviews with artists where they talk about having piles of merch stacked in their living room, and Shopify eliminates all of that.”
“Spotify is an important partnership for us because we see artists and creators as the next generation of entrepreneurs,” says Shopify president Harley Finkelstein in a statement to Billboard. “Shopify has thousands of artists using our platform today to connect directly with their fans,” Finkelstein continued. “Now, with our Spotify channel, we’re allowing artists to directly connect their online store with their Spotify artist profile so that they can sell products and engage with their fans where they listen, all while managing their businesses from a single platform. Artists like Remi Wolf and Ellie Goulding were early adopters of our integration, and we’re excited to now bring it to artists on Spotify globally.”
Shopfiy is offering all artists on Spotify signing up for the first time a 90-day free trial for its services. The rates for a store on Shopify can vary depending on its scale, but the company charges a monthly fee that starts at $29 a month, along with a small percentage of each item sold. Spotify is “not taking any fees for this current functionality,” a spokesperson tells Billboard.
This is the latest partnership for Shopify with another high-profile service, after introducing an in-app shopping experience for TikTok users in August. The new integration will only be visible to Spotify users in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, and New Zealand during the beta period, but artists globally will be able to add a virtual merch store to their Spotify profiles immediately.