Since its inception, Spotify has offered its entire music library to both Premium subscribers and non-paying users, albeit with varying degrees of access. The first crack in that resolve appeared today as part of the streaming giant’s new agreement with Universal Music.
As part of the arrangements, Universal artists will now have the option to give Premium subscribers two-weeks of exclusive access to new material, before freeloaders can get on board.
In a statement on Tuesday, Spotify boss Daniel Ek said the new deal will give artists the flexibility to release albums differently.
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He said: “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.
Music Business World reports Universal will also receive a lower revenue share of Spotify payouts, but that will depend on Spotify hitting mutually agreed upon subscriber growth targets.
While certainly a concession many thought Spotify would agree never to, it still stops short of drawing a stronger line between paying customers and those choosing not to hand over cash to enjoy music through Spotify.
The company’s historical stance has drawn ire from artists who receive less money from ad-supported than from those paying for the service.
There’s also the very real concerns from artists who don’t want to give their hard work away for nothing.
Although today’s move marks a shift, some may say a two-week exclusive doesn’t go far enough. Rival platforms Apple Music and Tidal offer paid-only plans, which has increased the pressure on Spotify to do likewise.
Are you a Spotify Premium subscriber who thinks your hard-earned cash should entitle you to more? Share your thoughts in the comments below.