On Friday (March 20), Netflix revealed that it had created a $100-million relief fund for those working in movie-land impacted financially by the coronavirus pandemic.
In music, we haven’t seen quite as dramatic a response as that just yet – although German PRO GEMA has created an emergency fund worth up to $43m for its writers, while its UK equivalent, PRS For Music, this morning announced that its eligible members can claim up to £1k (circa $1,200) apiece from another pool of money made available in response to COVID-19.
One music industry player that has come under particular pressure to do something to help artists during the pandemic is Spotify – which has even been petitioned to triple what it pay artists per stream in order “to put urgently needed cash into artists pockets”.
Today (March 25), SPOT has revealed how it plans to do just that.
Spotify has announced that it will be making a financial contribution of up to $10 million to help artists and other members of the music community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of this money has already been siphoned off and donated to three bodies across the US and UK: MusiCares (US), PRS Foundation (UK), and Help Musicians (UK).
- PRS Foundation is a sponsor of the up-to-£1k-per-writer PRS For Music emergency fund, so it appears likely that Spotify’s donation has made its way into this pool of money;
- London-based charity Help Musicians has today launched a “hardship fund” for musicians in the UK worth a total of £5m, with up to £500 each being handed to eligible applicants;
- It was revealed yesterday that Spotify is one of several streaming companies that have pledged to donate money to The Recording Academy’s charitable foundation MusiCares, topping up a relief fund for music industry workers that is already in the multiple millions of dollars.
Now, via a dedicated website, Spotify is encouraging and enabling anyone (including members of the music industry) who wishes to individually donate to the three aforementioned funds to do so.
Whenever a donation is received, Spotify says, it will match it, dollar for dollar, until the streaming company’s total pledge of $10m is all spent.
Furthermore, Spotify says it is “looking forward to adding more partners worldwide” to its funding pledge, which will increase the potential beneficiaries beyond the PRS Foundation, Help Musicians and MusiCares.
“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.”
Elsewhere, Spotify says it is “working diligently” to launch a new Spotify for Artists feature that will enable artists to fundraise directly from fans.
“Soon, we will give artists the ability to drive listeners to a fundraising destination of their choice on their Spotify artist profile pages,” writes Spotify.
“This will give artists on Spotify the ability to link out to a verified funding page for themselves, for another artist in need, or for a separate initiative of their choice.
“This feature will, of course, be optional for artists to leverage; no changes will be made to profile pages unless the artist chooses to participate, and Spotify will not take a cut of any contributions.”
Spotify for Artists users interested in this feature can sign up here.
For those continuing to create at home, Spotify says that its music talent marketplace SoundBetter is currently waiving its revenue share, while cloud-based audio recording platform Soundtrap is offering extended free trials for educators.
Podcast platform Anchor will also waive fees on its Listener Support feature.
Adds Spotify: “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.
“We will share additional details and updates as soon as we have them. To learn more about Spotify’s broader efforts to address COVID-19, on-platform and off, please visit For the Record.”
Music Business Worldwide