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Spotify Will Now Limit Certain New Albums to Premium Users for First Two Weeks of Release


Spotify is making a major change. The streaming service will begin limiting some new releases to their paid users for a two week period. The shift in policy comes from a new, multi-year global licensing deal with Universal Music Group that was signed on Tuesday (April 4)

“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 Chairman and 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.”

The new deal is believed to have lowered the revenue share of Spotify payouts received, according to Music Business Worldwide. UMG will set Spotify subscriber growth targets in return for the reduced payment.

“Working hand-in-hand with these digital services brought us the industry’s first real growth in nearly two decades,” UMG Chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge said. “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 reimagined distribution models and technologies, but entire business models.”

The changes will go into effect immediately. As a result, Friday (April 7) releases under the UMG umbrella may not be available to free users of Spotify for the next two weeks.

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