Spotify has announced the launch of Artist Fundraising Pick, where fans can directly donate money to an artist, or to a good cause selected by the artist. The move is in light of the COVID-19 crisis and follows news of the streaming giant’s new COVID-19 Music Relief scheme.
The Fundraising Pick feature will function similar to Artist’s Pick, where acts can currently list the highlights of their discography for fans to listen to. Artist donations can be made through PayPal.me and Cash App, while donations for charities or causes can be made through services supported by Spotify’s COVID-19 Music Relief project, such as GoFundMe.
In a blog post, Spotify said it felt it could “uniquely help by providing the global reach of Spotify to artists who are fundraising during this challenging time — to help them get the word out to fans, many of whom visit them on Spotify every day. And we’ve been really inspired by fans that want to help the artists they love and have been making direct donations.”
“First and foremost, this feature enables artists who are interested in raising money to support themselves, their bands, or their crews, to get the word out to their fans on their Spotify artist profiles”, the company adds.
The concept of tipping an artist or creator has been a popular feature on platforms like Twitch and BandLab. Other mechanisms exist in the world of streaming, too, with Mixcloud recently launching a subscription service to encourage fans to support artists. YouTube has a similar function, which allows users to pay to have their live chat messages highlighted, in which a portion of the payment goes to the creator. Fellow streaming platform and online store, Bandcamp, has begun dedicating days in which 100% of payments go towards the artist or label.
One of Spotify’s new partners, Cash App, has pledged a $1m fund for artists in the US and UK on the service as part of today’s announcement. Once artists using the Spotify for Artists platform submit their ‘$cashtag’ username and secure at least one monetary contribution, Cash App will contribute an extra $100 until a collective total of $1 million has been contributed.
Spotify notes that there may be some teething problems with the feature. “Given the urgency and impact of the COVID-19 crisis, we’re working as quickly as we can to develop this new product and get it out to as many artists as possible. However, we’ve never built a fundraising feature like this before. We consider this a first version that will evolve as we learn how to make it as helpful as possible for the music community.”
Artists looking to get to grips with the Artist Fundraising Pick can select “Get started” on the banner at the top of their dashboard to submit their Fundraising Pick.
Find out more at spotify.com