Details of a new licensing agreement between streaming service Spotify and Universal Music Group have been revealed today.
Under the new agreement, Spotify will restrict new albums from Universal artists to premium subscribers for up to two weeks. Sources claim Spotify will also pay less money to Universal per stream.
Spotify CEO, Daniel Ek said via a statement that the company knew its policy for releasing albums had to change.
“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,” the statement read. “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."
Spotify is working to negotiate deals with the other major music labels including Sony Music and Warner Music Group. It's thought that they will use Universal’s deal as a template.
As of March 2017, Spotify had 50 million paying subscribers worldwide, up from 30 million paying subscribers in March 2016
Spotify Premium starts from €9.99 per month, with different price plan options available.