SpotmeUp: The Spotify Distribution Is Free. But They Keep Your Royalties

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You don’t lose your rights, you just lose your royalties.

And the Spotify distribution is free in exchange. Make sense?

Well, it’s the latest model from left field, and it just might work for unsigned artists that are largely unconcerned with their paltry Spotify revenue checks.  The concept is coming from Spotmeup, which is courting smaller artists with even smaller Spotify checks.  “As you probably know, Spotify pays very small amounts for each play,” the company describes.  “This typically wouldn’t cover the annual fees required to keep your albums and singles live on Spotify, which is the main reason we have this business model.”

Unfortunately, you’ll need to sift through some FAQs and fine print to figure this out, which means lots of artists will get confused.  If that’s intentional, it’s shady, otherwise Spotmeup just needs to clean up the presentation and more clearly present their proposition.

That said, the model is largely predicated on simplicity while challenging the prevailing DIY wisdom.  Most music fans frequent a small number of digital outlets, specifically iTunes and Spotify.  So, why upload to scores of rival stores that are unlikely to generate any significant traction?  “There are only two giants out there, Spotify for sharing and promoting and iTunes for selling,” the company explains.

And, with that in mind, the company is now preparing to launch iCloudmeup in the near future. It seems that Spotmeup is hoping that the aggregated royalties from thousands of participating artists will cover the cost of doing free uploads.  That’s a lot of pennies to aggregate, though Spotmeup may also benefit from an unexpected heavy-seller (a risk from the artist standpoint).

Performance royalties are separate, and channeled through the appropriate PRO.