While streaming services like Spotify have changed the way we consume music forever, it has also created a complicated environment for artists to earn from their music. One of the earliest signs of things going wrong for Spoity was when it pulled thousands of songs from its library due to royalty issues in 2015.
Despite going public with a $29.5 billion valuation in 2018, the streaming app has continued to receive criticism for unfair compensation. In 2020, Vice reported how the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers launched a campaign called "Justice at Spotify," which advocates for radical changes in its compensation framework. A year later, The New York Times also shared how more than 150 British artists, such as Paul McCartney, Kate Bush, and Sting, signed a letter asking for reforms in the streaming economy.
Because of this, it's likely that some of your favorite up-and-coming artists without massive labels may not be available on Spotify forever. Thankfully, there's another way for you to support them directly and still be able to listen to their music via the Spotify app. Once you purchase an artist's music from their websites or other trustworthy sites, you can add their songs through local files to your Spotify library. Here's how.
How to add local files on your iPhone or Android Spotify app
For Android and iPhone users, the method of enabling adding local files to your Spotify app is the same. To do this, tap your profile picture > Settings and Privacy > Local Files. Next to "Show audio files from this device," toggle on the button. Once the pop-up appears, tap "OK" to give Spotify access to your music. For Android users, your stored music will automatically be added to your local files list. However, iPhone users will need to manually transfer their music to the Spotify folder via the Files app.
If you have an iPhone, you can proceed to add music to your Spotify app by opening up the Files app. Next, choose the files of the music you want to import and select Copy or Move. Then, navigate to the Spotify folder via the search bar and paste the file.
How to add local files on your iPhone Spotify app via USB cable
Once your iPhone is connected to your Mac via USB, launch your Finder app and select your iPhone's name from the sidebar. In the button bar, select the Music or Files. Then, you can proceed to drag your preferred music files into the Spotify folder. If you have Universal Clipboard enabled on your device, you can also copy and paste files directly from your Mac via iCloud to the Spotify folder on your iPhone.
For Windows users, you can also add local files to your iPhone via USB. However, the process will be slightly different. Once your iPhone is connected to your Windows laptop or computer, open your iTunes app and select your iPhone from the sidebar. Afterward, click Music or Files and drag your music files into the Spotify folder. According to Spotify, you may need to enable local file transfers between devices for this to work, so it's likely you'll have to allow access to your local network.
How to add local files on your Spotify desktop app
On your Spotify desktop app, click your profile picture on the top part of the screen and then choose Settings. Under Local Files, toggle on the button next to "Show Local Files." Depending on where you'd like to pull your music files from, you can either toggle on the buttons next to "Downloads" or "My Music." Alternatively, you can click Add Source and manually select what folder you'd like to pull your local music files from.
If you're having trouble uploading your local files to your Spotify app, you can contact Spotify support for help. Once you log into your account, you can send a message to its customer service experts or DM @SpotifyCares on X (previously Twitter).
When adding local files on Spotify, it's best that you upload only music that you acquired legally. Alternatively, if you don't have the means to purchase your favorite artist's music yet, you can attempt to find them on other streaming platforms and support them by buying their merchandise or going to their live shows.