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[Photo by: Unsplash/Sara Kurfess]

Spotify has changed the way artists can upload music, now prohibiting individual musicians from putting their songs on the streaming service directly. 

The new move requires a third party to be involved in the business of uploads. 

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The company announced the change on Monday, saying it will close the beta program and stop accepting direct uploads by the end of July. 

The most impactful way we can improve the experience of delivering music to Spotify for as many artists and labels as possible is to lean into the great work our distribution partners are already doing to serve the artist community,” Spotify said in a statement on its blog. “Over the past year, we’ve vastly improved our work with distribution partners to ensure metadata quality, protect artists from infringement, provide their users with instant access to Spotify for Artists, and more.”

The best way for us to serve artists and labels is to focus our resources on developing tools in areas where Spotify can uniquely benefit them — like Spotify for Artists (which more than 300,000 creators use to gain new insight into their audience) and our playlist submission tool (which more than 36,000 artists have used to get playlisted for the very first time since it launched a year ago). We have a lot more planned here in the coming months,” the post continued. 

The direct upload function began last September, allowing independent artists to utilize the streaming site without distribution methods.

Smaller artists will now need to return to sites like Bandcamp, SoundCloud and others to upload their material. 

Many people, especially artists, were upset about the decision. You can see what they had to say on Twitter below. 

More Spotify news

Pre-saving an upcoming release from your favorite artists on Spotify could be causing you to share more personal data than you realize.

In a recent report from Billboard, it was revealed that Spotify users were giving a band’s label data use permissions that were much broader than typical permissions.

When a user pre-saves a track, it adds it to the user’s library the moment it comes out. In order to do this, Spotify users have to click through and approve certain permissions.

These permissions give the label more access to your account than Spotify normally gives. It allows them to track listening habits, change the artists they follow and potentially control their streaming remotely.

A lot of the time we click through these permissions without really knowing what we’re agreeing to.

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This could soon spark some concern considering these permissions grant access to data normally used exclusively by Spotify themselves.

For example, Billboard points out Little Mix track “Bounce Back” pre-saves prompted giving Sony Music specific permissions. Among them were “view your Spotify account data,” “view your activity on Spotify” and “take actions in Spotify on your behalf.”

The exact permissions were only visible if the user clicked through the corresponding submenus.

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John Tinker, a media analyst with Gabelli & Company, explains, “I’m not sure if most people realize that. There’s nothing they’re doing that’s illegal – it’s just that no one ever actually realizes when they sign off on these things what they mean.”

“Add and remove items in your Library” is the only permission pre-save links really need. While permissions vary depending on label, Billboard reviewed dozens of campaigns to learn that Sony Music asks for the most.

Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group ask for an additional 10 permissions.

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“These permissions strike me as expansive and beyond what a reasonable consumer would expect,” says Frank Pasquale, a law professor at the University of Maryland who studies the ethical implementation of technology. “On the other hand, the larger picture is that as the Facebooks, Googles and Amazons of the world get so much data about people, every other company is just going to do the same. I can see why [the labels are] doing it: because they fear if they aren’t as aggressive as Google and Facebook they’re going to lose a competitive advantage.”

Back in May, The Washington Post reported that Spotify was one of the iPhone apps that used data trackers to send info about users and devices to third parties in the middle of the night while users slept.

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“I think Spotify could do a lot better. And they ought to be clearer about the nature of consent,” Pasquale says. “Individual consumer action will change nothing. Most people are just too busy to hear about this problem and act on their own. Regulators have to step in and be aggressive in terms of punishing things that are clearly unfair or deceptive and making sure there are some basic standards that are met.”

What do you think about Spotify taking away this feature? Sound off in the comments down below!

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