Spotify agrees deal with Universal Music Group to window releases on its premium service

It means select records will only be available premium members for a period of time.

Spotify has agreed a deal to window releases on its premium service after signing a new deal with Universal Music Group.

The multi-year global license agreement with UMG means that select records by Universal artists would be available to premium users only for two weeks, incentivising subscriptions and boosting revenue that filters through to the label. 

It's an approach to releasing music on streaming services that has been a long term goal for artists and labels.

"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," Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said in a statement. 

"This partnership is built on a mutual love of music, creating value for artists and delivering for fans. We will be working together to help break new artists and connect new and established artists with a broadening universe of fans in ways that will wow them both. 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."

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Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, 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. To that end, the long-term success of Spotify, and others like it, is essential to the ecosystem’s enduring health. I congratulate Daniel on Spotify’s continued growth and innovation, and I look forward to working together with him and his team to develop exciting new ways to connect artists and fans around the world."

Spotify recently topped 50 million paying subscribers worldwide, while in the UK, streaming recently topped a landmark 1 billion plays across all services in a single week.