The current issue of 5 Magazine asks if Spotify and streaming in general will make record labels obsolete.

We had no idea the game would change so quickly.

On Thursday Spotify announced a program that will permit all artists to upload their tracks directly to their platform. Essentially: free distribution. Yes, free.

The program is currently in beta, and will begin expanding to encompass all artists with a Spotify For Artists account. Eventually Spotify plans to roll it out to all eligible artists (which means everyone who has a track on Spotify and wants to sign up).

The move will certainly cause friction with music distributors such as TuneCore and DistroKid. Though there have been alarmist claims that this is intended to co-opt SoundCloud’s audience, Spotify still doesn’t have a commenting platform and the community aspect of SoundCloud is a big deal and has thus far been difficult to replicate on rival platforms.

Spotify has published a FAQ in their Spotify For Artists section, and a comprehensive guide for how to upload tracks to Spotify.