Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) has officially unveiled a merch-store partnership with e-commerce platform Shopify (NYSE: SHOP), and the deal will allow artists to feature up to three products on their Spotify profiles.
The Stockholm-based audio-entertainment service and Ottawa-headquartered Shopify formally announced their agreement this morning. Said agreement – which arrives about seven months after Amazon Music unveiled its own artist-merch store – will enable “any artist globally” to link to a Shopify store on Spotify.
But during the program’s current “beta period,” Shopify merchandise “will only be visible to listeners in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S.” Spotify doesn’t appear to have publicly revealed when international users will gain access to the integrated merch options, but for reference, 42 percent of the company’s 365 million MAUs were based out of Latin America or Rest of World as of Q2 2021. (Spotify is scheduled to release its third-quarter performance details one week from today.)
Regarding the specifics of the Spotify-Shopify integration, artists must connect the two profiles to offer items to listeners, doing so by logging into Spotify for Artists, navigating to “profile,” selecting “merch,” and signing into Shopify from there.
And on this front, “you can only link one Shopify store per artist and vice versa,” the music-streaming giant has made clear, and “Shopify is offering a 90-day free trial to all Spotify artists signing up for the first time.” Once this trial ends, “Basic Shopify,” the e-commerce company’s most affordable plan, will set users back $29 per month, Shopify’s website shows; “Shopify” costs $79 per month, with “Advanced Shopify” priced at $299 per month.
Lastly, in terms of the deal’s nuances, artists “can publish up to 250 merch items from Shopify to Spotify for Artists,” but as initially mentioned, professionals will then have to “choose up to 3 of these items to show on” their profiles.
A quick examination of two artists’ Spotify pages shows that merchandise options are (at least on mobile) featured last, beneath playlists, “fans also like” suggestions, touring details, and, if enabled, fundraising picks, to name some. Tapping a product brings one to a description on Spotify, while a “buy it now” button then directs fans to Shopify to complete the purchase.
The integration of Shopify appears to represent the latest in a long line of expansion-minded moves from Spotify, which has turned to podcasting, promotional services, bolstered advertising options, social audio, livestreaming, and more in 2021 as part of a larger effort to move past recorded music’s razor-thin margins.