Spotify’s latest round of licensing negotiations with major labels is bringing the prospect of premium-windowing for high-profile albums closer on its service.
The Financial Times claimed yesterday that Spotify is close to securing lower royalty rates with the three majors, in return for the ability to “restrict the biggest album releases to its paid tier for a period of time”, placing a new limit on its free tier.
“People close to the matter say licensing talks have picked up considerably and deals could be inked within weeks after months of gridlock, with the caveat that nothing has been signed and talks could again stall,” reported the FT.
(’Twas ever thus when it comes to licensing negotiations.)
Any decision by Spotify to allow albums to be windowed to its premium tier would not be a huge surprise: as we revealed last June, the streaming service came close to making Radiohead’s ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ the first album to get this treatment in May 2016, before abandoning the plans shortly before the release for technological reasons.
While Spotify has been portrayed as dead set against such windowing in the past, behind the scenes in the last year, its executives have been stressing that the policy isn’t a ‘religious’ approach, paving the way for more flexibility.