Spotify has added the ability for artists distributing music via its platform to offer merchandise to fans without taking any commission on sales of t-shirts et al.
It’s partnering with Topspin for the merch feature, which also isn’t taken any kind of cut on sales (although artists are required to sign up for a Topspin ArtistLink account to activate the feature).
With no direct pie-slicing going on, this looks like a sweetener for artists to give them an incentive to continue streaming their music via Spotify — by helping to foster additional revenue streams, beyond paying to play the music itself.
Spotify has, after all, suffered various tongue-lashings at the hands of artists unhappy with its business model (last year Radiohead’s Thom York dubbed it “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse“, in one memorable example of musician streaming music rage).
Spotify is clearly hoping to make itself the good-guy with its latest offer. The new merchandise feature doesn’t require artists to change how they sell merch already — rather listings link through to artists’ existing store URLs — albeit they can only list up to three items of merchandise at any...