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Merlin artists can now window releases to subscribers on Spotify

Independent label group and digital rights agency Merlin has signed a multi-year agreement with Spotify that will allow its artists to gate their albums to only paid subscribers. The new deal continues the existing relationship between Merlin and Spotify and marks another big development in the streaming platform’s label relationships. Continue Reading

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Rumor Fact(ory): Spotify nearing major label deals with some surprising propositions

Financial Times is the source of the latest Spotify speculation, reporting that the streaming service is close to final licensing deals with the major labels. The core of those arrangements, is that Spotify would pay a lower royalty fee to the labels, but in exchange would temporarily gate major album releases for paying customers. Continue Reading

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Drake’s new album will be an Apple exclusive and this one matters more

Apple Music is getting another exclusive, and while it isn’t a surprise, it is a big one. Drake’s upcoming project, Views From The 6, will only be on Apple’s platform when it drops on April 29. The scope of this exclusive release will make it a telling sign of the where the current streaming market is headed. Continue Reading

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Gwen Stefani joins the roster of self-windowing artists

The parade of self-gating artists marches on. Gwen Stefani is the latest to only allow streaming of her new release on paid streaming services. Spotify members curious to hear her album This Is What The Truth Feels Like see a message that the release will be available on April 1. That’s a two-week delay from the album’s official launch. Continue Reading

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Spotify may test out windowing content

In a big potential strategy shift, Spotify is allegedly open to some artists temporarily restricting their music to its paid tier. Unnamed sources told The Wall Street Journal that Spotify will consider windowing content based on whether a listener pays for the service. An insider said Spotify would be trying this strategy as a test first to assess the impact it might have on usage and subscription membership. Continue Reading