“Spotify is out of contract with all three major music companies, MBW has learned, with a dispute over revenue splits bringing disharmony to negotiations. The Swedish streaming company has been out of a long-term deal with Universal Music Group for more than a year, say our sources,” Music Business World wide reports. “Its contract with Warner Music Group expired in early 2016, while its licensing agreement with Sony Music Entertainment ran out of juice a few months ago.”

“Spotify continues to be licensed by all three majors on a rolling month-by-month basis, and the possibility of UMG, Sony or Warner catalogues being pulled is widely regarded as out of the question. The majors, have, however, gnashed their teeth a little over Spotify’s recent promotional deals – not least its new family plan, which matches Apple Music’s equivalent by offering up to six people premium access for just $14.99 per month,” MBW reports. “Some parties within Universal, Sony and Warner are believed to be uneasy about Spotify’s decision to announce such promotions without any long-term licensing agreements in place.”

“One powerful rights-holder, who works outside the major label world, recently told us: ‘If Spotify just windowed every new album for two weeks on premium, one rule for everybody, 90% of their problems would go away,'” MBW reports. “However, a senior major label figure told us today that the majors weren’t necessarily all dead-set on Spotify making hard-and-fast rules on windowing. ‘Spotify’s free tier is one of its only real effective advantages over tech giants with masses of resources,’ they told us. ‘We all understand that – and the last place most of us want streaming to end up is a straight fight between Apple and Google.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Why does Spotify get favorable advantages (lower rates, free ad-supported tiers) because the labels don’t want Apple or Google to win in streaming? Sounds like collusion to us.

Musicians and the music industry undermine themselves by allowing their music to be streamed by “free,” ad-supported outfits.MacDailyNews, December 17, 2015

Apple proposes simplified music licensing scheme to U.S. Copyright Royalty Board – July 18, 2016
In likely boon for Apple Music, Copyright Royalty Board raises rates on free music services – December 17, 2015
Why Apple wants to kill free music – October 8, 2015
Apple Music’s huge advantage over Spotify – June 9, 2015