In recent years, Spotify has become the hub for online music streaming. So in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has canceled tours, altered album release plans and halted the music industry—like most others—in its tracks, Spotify is giving back with a series of relief efforts.
“Combatting the impact of this pandemic on the music industry will take a massive global effort, and we are working quickly to assemble and optimize these new resources,” the company said in a blog post.
The Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief project will recommend charities such as the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences’ MusiCares Foundation and the British organizations PRS Foundation and Help Musicians. Spotify said it will match up to $10 million in combined donations.
Since the outbreak began, a trove of artists including John Legend, James Blake and Ben Gibbard have performed for fans live from their homes, with many of them encouraging viewers to give to a charity. Others, like the jam band Phish, have dipped into their archives to provide anxious fans with joy. On Tuesday night, the band streamed a concert from 2012, kicking off a weekly series dubbed Dinner and a Movie and solicited donations in an email to fans, saying, “We’ll select a nonprofit doing important work right now, and all donations made via The WaterWheel Foundation that day will be given to that organization.”
Spotify will soon give artists tools to fundraise for themselves, others or charitable organizations. “Though streaming continues to play a key role in connecting creators with their fans, numerous other sources of revenue have been interrupted or stopped altogether by this crisis,” the company noted.
The new feature will equip musicians with a fundraising option on their artist page, and Spotify will not be taking a cut of any money raised.
For the time being, Spotify has waived revenue sharing on its SoundBetter talent marketplace, while its recording platform Soundtrap will offer an extended free trial to music educators. Anchor, Spotify’s podcast production and distribution tool, is also waiving fees on its Listener Support fundraising feature.