Universal promises to share Spotify windfall with its artists


With Spotify preparing for its direct public listing, Universal Music has settled a long-running question over how it will deal with any windfall from its shares in the streaming service.

“Consistent with UMG’s approach to artist compensation, artists would share in the proceeds of a [Spotify] equity sale,” a spokesperson told MBW yesterday.

The quote ends UMG’s silence on what it plans to do with the profits from its stake in Spotify, which it acquired as part of its early licensing deals with the company.

Warner Music and Sony Music both said in February 2016 that they would share any windfall from Spotify going public with their artists, but Universal had not commented publicly until now – MBW’s steer from ‘sources close to Vivendi-owned UMG’ is that this may have been more about waiting for Spotify to announce its public flotation, rather than any desire not to share the proceeds with artists.

The next question – for all the major labels, not just UMG – is how any such windfall-sharing is calculated, and how transparent that process will be for artists and their managers.

Stuart Dredge

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