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April 20, 2017

Spotify Now Lets Indie Labels Put Albums Behind Two-Week Paywall

via Pitchfork

Spotify Now Lets Indie Labels Put Albums Behind Two-Week Paywall

Users of Spotify’s free service may soon find that they can’t listen to some new albums released by independent labels until two weeks after the release date. Today, Spotify revealed that they have reached a new licensing agreement with the digital rights agency Merlin, which represents thousands of indies. As part of the agreement, those labels now have the option of restricting new albums to the streaming giant’s paying subscribers for a two-week window. Earlier this month, in a first, Spotify made this “windowing” option available to Universal Music Group under their own new licensing deal.

As of now, no new album has utilized the “windowing” option, Spotify confirms. Notably, Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN., which was put out by Universal last week, was available for free users to stream upon its release.

Merlin’s membership consists of more than 20,000 indie labels from 51 countries, including Beggars Group (Matador, XL, etc.), Domino, Merge, Epitaph/ANTI, Kobalt Music Recordings, Mad Decent, Naxos, [PIAS], Secretly Group (Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar, Dead Oceans), Sub Pop, and Warp.

Spotify has also reportedly been in talks with the two other major labels, Sony and Warner, about new licensing agreements.

Revisit our explorations of  the streaming economy, “The Year in Streaming 2016” and “Is the Era of Free Streaming Coming to an End?

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