Everyone has that friend who’s always asking, “Have you heard the new [insert requisite cool band here] yet?” In a move that will please the music snobs among us, Spotify will offer Premium users early access to some albums.
Under a new licensing agreement with Universal Music Group, individual artists will have the choice of making their albums available to paid Spotify subscribers a full two weeks before free users. Singles will remain available to everyone.
“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,” said Daniel Ek, Chairman and CEO of Spotify.
In return, UMG will get “unprecedented access to data,” to help it create new tools for “artists and labels to expand, engage, and build deeper connections with their fans.”
UMG acknowledges what the Recording Industry Association of America announced last week — that streaming music now represents the majority of its business. As such, the company’s challenge is turning that into “sustainable growth,” notes Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG. He says the company has already changed how it distributes music as well as how it does business, and that the only constants going forward in the new streaming ecosystem must be “great music and fair compensation for artists and creators.”