Spotify announced via its blog this morning that it no longer supports merch integration via ArtistLink (formerly Topspin).
Well that sure was short lived. It was only a year ago that Spotify announced the merch deal with Topspin’s ArtistLink. Then this past August it rolled out a very similar deal with BandPage. Luckily, the better company won out. To say it was a headache to get merch onto Spotify via AritstLink is an understatement. As an independent artist with some smarts, I couldn’t, for the life of me, get my merch added to my Spotify artist profile via ArtistLink. I even worked with someone at Spotify to attempt to streamline the process. Nada.
But then when BandPage officially launched its partnership, I signed into my BandPage account, added a few merch items and BAM, a few hours later it was up on my Spotify profile.
If you’re one of those early adapting artists or labels who have been selling merch through Spotify via ArtistLink, your merch store is officially removed from Spotify. You’ll have to head over to BandPage to setup a new store from scratch.
Neither Spotify nor BandPage take commission from merch sold through Spotify.
Most could see this coming after former Topspin CEO, Ian Rogers, moved over to Beats and took Topspin with him. Beats being a competitor of Spotify, owning a feature integrated within Spotify was bound to get messy. This past January it was rumored that Topspin laid off half its staff. Then Apple bought Beats and proceeded to lay off about 200 Beats employees. But not before separating Topspin from ArtistLink and selling it to BandMerch. But all of this seems like trivialities compared to Apple’s grand plan: iTunes Streaming.
Beats has failed to compete with Spotify on a major scale. It was all the rage when it first launched nearly a year ago and slipped in an AT&T family plan along with a 3 month trial period to inflate the numbers up to half a million subscribers. However, after the Apple acquisition, it was revealed by Beats co-founder, Jimmy Iovine, that Beats only had 250,000 subscribers. Who knows how many subscribers Beats has since lost. 2015 will be the year that iTunes introduces its Streaming service. My money is on Apple trashing Beats altogether (while stealing some of its internal functionality, algorithms, and analytics) and launching its own streaming service within the current iTunes player.
Oh, and as for Topspin..er ArtistLink? Sayonara!
A previous version of this article incorrectly inferred that Topspin was still a part of Beats. Thanks to Chandler Coyle for the heads up!