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Spotify inks Universal Music Group deal – allows album exclusivity behind Premium paywall

Universal Music Group artists

Music streaming service Spotify has tied down one of the world’s biggest record labels Universal Music Group (UMG) and to do so has offered it a unique deal - timed album exclusivity in its Premium tier.

Spotify has signed the group up for a multi-year licensing deal that will ensure top artists such as Kanye West, Adele, Mariah Carey and Lady Gaga, remain on the platform.

To seal the partnership, Spotify has had to evolve its commercial offering to accommodate the label, in what it said provides “more flexibility for new releases”. Furthermore the label will be able to access Spotify’s extensive stream of data.

Daniel Ek, chairman and chief executive of Spotify, said: “We’ve worked hard with UMG to develop a new, flexible release policy. 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.”

He went on to thank Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman and chief executive of UMG for his part in helping “to deliver on the promise of the new music economy for all the people who make music and all the people who love it”.

Grainge added: “Eight years ago, when streaming was a welcome but small source of revenue, UMG embraced partners like Spotify as a way to help return music to a vibrant future benefitting the entire ecosystem. Working hand in hand with these digital services brought us the industry’s first real growth in nearly two decades. 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 only constants must be great music and fair compensation for artists and creators.”