Spotify closes UMG deal; will allow album exclusives on Premium

spotify logo March2016 canvasAfter two years of negotiations, Spotify has broken through with a major label deal. The two companies had been operating on a month-to-month basis while working out a longer-term arrangement. They have been in on-again-off-again negotiations, but now they reportedly just need the sign-off from both CEOs to become official.

According to early reports about the deal, Spotify was looking to pay the labels a smaller percentage of its total revenue. Universal wanted to secure the ability to restrict some music to paying customers only and for the service to hit certain growth targets in subscriber numbers.

“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,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said of the deal. “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.”

Anna Washenko