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Spotify adds in-app merch stand to artist profiles

You can now buy T-shirts, records, and other merchandise from your favorite artists within music-streaming service Spotify.


Been there, streamed that, bought the T-shirt... you can now buy shirts, records, and other merchandise from your favorite artists through music-streaming service Spotify.

Turns including Beastie Boys, Banks, Grateful Dead, Bon Jovi, Deadmau5, and much-trumpeted new arrivals Led Zeppelin have been first to offer swag in Spotify over the last month, and the feature is now open to any artist to sign up and start selling anything they want, from wristbands to vinyl records, right there on their profile page.

Clicking on an item shows you a preview image and then takes you to the band's online store, wherever that may be. Merchandise is available to buy if you're listening to Spotify in the US, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland.

Any band or artist can add a merch stand to their profile within the Spotify app. They can only offer three items at a time, but on the plus side there are no fees: neither Spotify nor Topspin -- which provides sales and marketing software to artists -- take a cut when a fan drops some cash on a new shirt, poster, or album.

Topspin has a similar deal to offer merchandise through forthcoming rival streaming service Beats Music, which is set to launch on Tuesday.

As digital music -- and with it, music piracy -- has eaten into the money made from selling music, other ways of making money have become increasingly important. Revenue streams such as merchandise and live concert tickets are two big ways for artists and labels to make money -- and both can now be browsed and bought through Spotify.

Support your local musician
"This is what I've been waiting for!" says Laura Kidd of gloom pop act She Makes War. "Up until now Spotify has been a pretty closed system -- you couldn't add a link to your own website or web store from your artist profile so the user journey for people to go and find out more about you was very disjointed. I'm an independent artist with two studio albums, three live albums, and a plethora of EPs and singles on Spotify and it has always irked me that it isn't clear when people listen that CDs and other things are available, and those are the best way to support She Makes War.

"Among those who hang out with me on Twitter and Facebook, Spotify is mainly a way of listening to music you've already discovered, rather than discovering new bands, so before this announcement I was questioning the point of having my music there at all.

"Monthly subscribers probably think they're contributing properly towards the music they're listening to, but the royalties are extremely low and CD and merch sales are incredibly helpful in keeping artists going."

As well as merchandise, you can find and buy tickets through Spotify for gigs played by your favorite turns using the Songkick app, which shows upcoming concerts in the act's profile.

Even in the age of music piracy, a pragmatic artist can still make money. British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, for example, has made millions by touring in parts of the world where the band's music is heavily pirated. I guess sometimes if they won't bring their daughter to the slaughter you just have to take the slaughter to the daughters.