Shopify partners with Spotify to give musicians new options for merchandise sales

Shopify sign

It’s a corporate mash-up that will be heard around the world.

Ottawa e-commerce firm Shopify announced Wednesday it is linking up with Spotify to allow artists on the audio-stream giant’s platform to list merchandise directly on their Spotify profiles.

Spotify artists who operate Shopify stores can now “sync their product catalogues and seamlessly showcase products of their choice” on their streaming profiles to make it easier for fans to purchase merch, the company said.

“Artists today are entrepreneurial,” Shopify director of product Amir Kabbara said in a statement.

“They’re building multifaceted brands and businesses, and now we’re making it easier for them to meet fans where they are. By bringing entrepreneurship to Spotify, we’re empowering artists to think beyond the traditional merch table with new ways to monetize, and to experiment with their brands through commerce.”

Shopify's services will be an alternative to Spotify's existing relationship with Merchbar, a more traditional online merchandise platform that specializes largely in selling vinyl records and branded clothing.

What Shopify will offer is an “all-in-one commerce platform” the company says will present musicians with an array of new options that give them greater control over how merchandise from their online store is created and displayed to fans.

'Print-on-demand' options

They can use Shopify's various digital solutions to create new merchandise on the fly with “print-on-demand” options that can turn around items such as coffee mugs, wall art and shirts on short notice.

Those tools could prove especially useful as musicians look to capitalize on the TikTok era when one of their songs can generate massive interest on short notice.

Shopify says thousands of musicians already use its services on their websites and to sell items through other social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, but it believes the Spotify deal will introduce its subscription-based e-commerce services to a larger market of creators.

Artists must have a Shopify account to access the new service, and the Ottawa software giant is offering a 90-day free trial to all new artists joining the platform. While the new Spotify channel will be open to all artists on the streaming service, for now merchandise will appear only to listeners in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.

California-based singer-songwriter Remi Wolf, who released her debut studio album Juno this month, said the new sales channel will help her grow her brand and generate additional income.

“Being able to display my newest merch directly on Spotify where my fans are already listening is huge,” Wolf said in a statement. “My merch is another way for me to be creative and to connect with my listeners so that they feel a part of this journey.”

String of partnerships

The Spotify deal is just the latest in a string of new partnerships for Shopify over the past several months as the Ottawa firm seeks to capitalize on the e-commerce boom.

In September, Shopify signed a multi-year partnership with digital marketing firm Yotpo that will reportedly see the Ottawa software giant invest $30-million in the Israeli tech unicorn. 

Also last month, Shopify announced it was launching Shopify Markets, which it calls a “centralized hub with all the tools needed for merchants to manage global commerce.”

The company says the new system will make it easier for merchants to penetrate cross-border markets, allowing them to manage global customers via a central dashboard and helping them customize payment methods, pricing and product rollouts in each region.

The moves come as Shopify continues to stake its claim as a global e-commerce software leader. 

The firm’s quarterly revenues cracked the US$1-billion mark for the first time in the three-month period ending June 30, while the company turned a profit of nearly $880 million, its fifth straight profitable quarter.

– With additional reporting from the Canadian Press