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Kalebh Schroder

Spotify’s Free Members May Lose Out on New Policy

The giant that is Spotify, recently has teamed up Merlin, a digital rights agency that represents 20,000 of the world’s leading independent record labels with their recently implemented “Flexible Release Policy.”

Merlin represents top labels like, Armada Music, Beggars Group, Domino, Entertainment One, Epitaph/Anti, Hopeless Records, Kobalt Music Recordings, Mad Decent, Naxos, [PIAS], Secretly Group, Sub Pop and Warp. Merlin’s labels are presented with a decision to participate in this new business model that effectively delays new releases from their artists on Spotify for up to two weeks.


This new deal is to keep independent labels, “...at the core of Spotify’s offering to music fans” by benefitting their businesses. This bears bad news for Spotify’s free listeners if they want to keep hearing new releases from their favorite artists when they come out.



Universal Music Group also signed a very similar deal with Spotify earlier this month. UMG’s CEO stated “Starting today, Universal artists can choose to release new albums on premium only for two weeks, offering subscribers an earlier chance to explore the complete creative work, while the singles are available across Spotify for all our listeners to enjoy.“


So who can we expect to hear a full 2 weeks later than their releases on free memberships?

Armin Van Buuren, Borgore, Avicii, Martin Garrix, Kungs, and more.


Read the Merlin agreement here

Read the UMG agreement here

Tags Spotify
Kalebh Schroder Contributing Writer

Kalebh has been producing music for side and solo projects since childhood. He graduated from Full Sail University with a Bachelors in Music Production.

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