Now indie labels can window albums on Spotify Premium thanks to Merlin deal

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Earlier this month, Universal signed a long-awaited new global licensing deal with Spotify. Now, it’s the turn of the indies.

Merlin has confirmed that it has inked a new, multi-year license agreement with Daniel Ek’s platform – and, like UMG, its members have won the right to ‘window’ album releases on Spotify Premium (presumably, like UMG, for a two-week period).

These members include Beggars Group, Domino, Entertainment One, Epitaph/Anti, Hopeless Records, Kobalt Music Recordings, Mad Decent, [PIAS], Secretly Group, Sub Pop and Warp.

The new agreement is said to have been ‘structured to reflect and promote the value of Merlin’s collective offering of its members’ repertoire, while offering improved marketing and advertising opportunities and enhanced access to data’.

Spotify CEO Daniel EK tweeted: “Indie music has been a huge part of our success since day one & I am super happy to say we have a new, multi-year deal [with Merlin].”

Charles Caldas, CEO, Merlin said: “Merlin was a launch partner to Spotify back in 2008, and our partnership has thrived ever since. This new agreement lays the path to future sustainable growth for us both, and we look forward to remaining an integral part in the service’s continued success.”

Martin Mills, Chairman, Merlin and boss of Beggars Group – whose artists include Adele and Radiohead [pictured] – added: “I’m delighted that Merlin has reached this new agreement with Spotify.

“We’ve been great partners for each other, and this updated arrangement allows independents in the Merlin community the comfort of knowing they have a highly competitive deal and parity of access to the service, whilst creating a commercial environment in which Spotify can grow to the benefit of all of us.”

The agreement with Merlin just leaves Spotify with two long-term recorded music licensing deals left to negotiate: one with Sony Music Entertainment, and the other with Warner Music Group.

In its deal with Spotify, Universal is believed to have agreed to lower the revenue share of payouts received from the service – giving Daniel Ek’s company margin relief as it seeks to prove its business model ahead of an IPO.

Universal is understood to have set Spotify subscriber growth targets in return for this reduced payment percentage.

Should the streaming company fail to meet these agreed milestones, UMG’s reduction in Spotify revenue share would be postponed (or even potentially reversed).Music Business Worldwide

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