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Spotify CFO says UMG is ‘willing to lean in more aggressively’ than rivals


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Look away, non-Universal major labels: you may feel a little testy about the latest interview with Spotify CFO Paul Vogel, at a conference organised by RBC Capital Markets.

He was asked about Spotify’s latest licensing deal with UMG, which includes access to tests of new marketing tools. “There’s nothing preventing the other labels from doing it, and the fact that we sort of explicitly called out Universal doesn’t mean we haven’t at times work with the other labels and experiment with them as well,” said Vogel. But… “The unique thing about Universal is that because they’re willing to sort of lean in more aggressively, they’re in the room working with us more to help figure out which products are working and which things they really want to lean into from a product and a growth standpoint,” he continued. “Our hope and expectations will that other labels, both the big ones, small ones will lean in more aggressively over time.”

In other news, Spotify is bringing back its now-traditional three-month Premium promotion for the end of the year, as it looks to meet (or beat) its forecast of reaching 150m-154m subscribers by the end of 2020. And it’s also launched an initiative called ‘Sawtik’ in Middle East and North Africa focusing on emerging artists who are women, with playlist support, digital billboards, artist masterclasses and more.

Stuart Dredge

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