Spotify imposes 2-week paywall on new albums in deal with Universal

“New albums from some of the world’s most popular recording artists will soon go behind a temporary paywall, after a breakthrough licensing deal announced Tuesday between Spotify AB and Universal Music Group,” Mike Murphy reports for MarketWatch.

“Under the deal, new albums on Spotify’s streaming music service will be available only to paid Premium subscribers for two weeks after their release, after which users of Spotify’s free tier will be able to listen too,” Murphy reports. “Spotify had long opposed exclusivity in its streaming service, which led to popular artists such as Taylor Swift and Adele withholding new albums from Spotify because they opposed their release on a free platform.”

“In return, Spotify may pay less to Universal in royalty fees, if certain revenue targets are achieved. Spotify and Universal had been negotiating the deal on and off for two years,” Murphy reports. “Universal, the world’s largest music company, accounts for a little over one-third of the recorded music market. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Most music lovers want the new stuff when it’s available. If they have to pay anyway to get new releases, why not pay for the music service with the most exclusives, original content, Beats 1, Carpool Karaoke, and more?

This is good news for Apple Music as it reinforces that “free” is second-rate and it will make current Spotify free users at least consider paying for streaming music. Once they get there, they’ll ask themselves, “If I have to pay, why not pay for the best?”

The Spotify paywall on new releases will drive Apple Music subscriptions.


  1. If you have to pay, why not get the music on a CD? You can rip to whatever bit rate you desire. Pay ONCE listen as often as you want.

    There are still some of us who want to own our music not rent or lease.

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