Music streaming service Spotify has today announced that they have agreed a deal with Universal Music Group to window releases on its premium service. The worldwide license agreement with Universal now means that select records from UMG artists will be available exclusively to premium users for a period of two weeks.
The new contract has been agreed in a bid to boost paid subscriptions to Spotify and also to aid more revenue to be paid direct to the label. It’s an approach to releasing singles and albums on streaming sites that has been the main aim for artists and labels since streaming started counting towards chart places several years ago.
Speaking about the deal, Spotify CEO Daniel EK, said: “Starting today, Universal artists can choose to release new albums on premium only for two weeks, offering subscribers an earlier chance to explore the complete creative work, while the singles are available across Spotify for all our listeners to enjoy. This partnership is built on a mutual love of music, creating value for artists and delivering for fans. We will be working together to help break new artists and connect new and established artists with a broadening universe of fans in ways that will wow them both. We know that not every album by every artist should be released the same way, and we’ve worked hard with UMG to develop a new, flexible release policy.”
CEO of Universal Music Group, Sir Lucian Grainge, added: “Eight years ago, when streaming was a welcome but small source of revenue, UMG embraced partners like Spotify as a way to help return music to a vibrant future benefitting the entire ecosystem. Working hand in hand with these digital services brought us the industry’s first real growth in nearly two decades. Today, streaming represents the majority of the business. Our challenge is transforming that upturn into sustainable growth. In a market this dynamic, one evolving more rapidly than ever before, success requires creative and continual re-evaluation of how best to bring artists’ music to fans. At UMG, we’ve not only re-imagined distribution models and technologies, but entire business models.The only constants must be great music and fair compensation for artists and creators. To that end, the long-term success of Spotify, and others like it, is essential to the ecosystem’s enduring health. I congratulate Daniel on Spotify’s continued growth and innovation, and I look forward to working together with him and his team to develop exciting new ways to connect artists and fans around the world.”
Spotify have recently confirmed that they now have over 50 million paying customers worldwide.
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