Spotify now lets fans donate to artists impacted by Covid-19

23 Apr 2020

Image: © rcfotostock/

Spotify will now allow artists using the platform to receive donations through Cash App, GoFundMe and PayPal.

This week, Spotify introduced a new feature that allows artists on the platform to receive tips from fans or raise money to donate to charity.

In a statement, Spotify said that it has been engaging with partners across the industry since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic to discuss ways in which the company can support artists and the creative community, which have been feeling the impact of cancelled concerts and loss in revenue.

In recent weeks, many musicians have been turning to livestreaming platforms such as YouTube and Instagram to hold concerts and engage with fans. This week, two virtual music festivals are set to go ahead on Minecraft, as artists adjust to the significant disruptions that travel and distancing restrictions have caused for the music industry.

Helping artists raise money

Spotify said that while streaming plays a key role in connecting creators with fans, numerous other sources of revenue have been “interrupted or stopped altogether” by the crisis.

In light of that, the company has launched the Artist Fundraising Pick, which lets artists select a fundraising destination, just like they can select a piece of music on their profile as an ‘Artist’s Pick’.

“First and foremost, this feature enables artists who are interested in raising money to support themselves, their bands or their crews, to get the word out to their fans on their Spotify artist profiles,” the company said.

Spotify is partnering with Cash App, GoFundMe and PayPal to help artists receive donations. According to the music streaming platform, Cash App has established a $1m relief fund for artists struggling under the current circumstances.

Spotify’s announcement comes after music streaming and downloading platform Bandcamp announced that it was set to waive fees on 1 May for the second time since the pandemic began, enabling artists to receive all proceeds of sales on the platform.

When Bandcamp waived fees for the first time on 20 March, users spent more than $4m on music on its platform, in a record day for sales.

Donations to charity

Spotify added that it has made contributions to MusiCares, the CDC and WHO during the pandemic, and established a $10m matching fund through the Spotify Covid-19 Music Relief project, with additional artist support organisations from around the world joining over the past few weeks.

MusiCares is a non-profit run by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which is providing a “safety net” to musicians, artists and professionals in the music industry who have lost their incomes due to the crisis.

According to Spotify, American DJ and producer Marshmello is fundraising for MusiCares through the Artist Fundraising Pick initiative, while Swedish singer Benjamin Ingrosso is fundraising for Musikerforbundet.

Ingrosso said: “I want to be helpful in the ways I can during these difficult times. I’ve seen lots of my fellow musicians lose work due to the current situation. Most of us don’t know when we will be able to go back to work.”

Spotify added that artists Tyrese Pope and Boy Scouts are fundraising on the platform through Cash App to support themselves through the crisis.

Pope said: “I’ve been using Cash App to raise money for a while but now that listeners can contribute through Spotify, it’s going to make a big difference. With touring now impossible, it’s never been harder for artists to make ends meet, so the extra contributions from Cash App and listeners alike will really help when we need it most.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic