Spotify introduced a new hub for artist merchandise on Monday that recommends goods like T-shirts, vinyl records, and this brass Lana Del Rey lighter for moody girls. It is the latest effort from Spotify to integrate merch purchasing into the app, which has been a priority for artists who distribute on the streaming service.
Merch on Spotify isn’t new — the company launched a partnership with Shopify in 2021 and has been making small updates ever since to facilitate shopping. Still, the purchasing does not happen directly in the app; users can browse goods but are then directed to artists’ individual merch stores.
Spotify does not take a cut from sales, but the merch push does serve a business purpose. It is well known how little artists take home from their music streams, and selling merch is an easy, high-margin way to attempt to make up the difference. If Spotify wants to keep artists happy (or at least stop them from revolting), the company has to make merch part of the user experience.
That said, users also have to be able to find the merch. The easiest way right now is to go to the merch tab on an artist’s individual page. As of Monday morning, I am only able to access the hub through the link on the press release, as it does not show up on my app search page. A representative from Spotify said they were looking into the issue.