One day before the launch of its newest competitor, Beats Music, Spotify has announced that it will now allow artists to list and sell merchandise through their profile pages. The new service — powered in partnership with music marketing startup Topspin — will let musicians sell items like t-shirts, posters, and custom vinyl without having to pay any fee or commission to either company. Over the last year a number of high profile artists, such as Radiohead's Thom Yorke, have accused Spotify of paying artists poorly and generally being unfriendly to new musicians.
While relations haven't exactly thawed, Spotify has been able to coax some big holdouts — most recently Led Zepplin — to finally allow their records to stream online. Given that the average musician today only makes six percent of their total revenue on music sales, adding merchandising to Spotify will no doubt make it a more attractive place to host tunes for a good chunk of the independent musicians who are still not part of the company's catalog.