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Spotify closes in on new Sony licensing deal

From Engadget - July 11, 2017

Universal Music Group was the first major record label to sign a new agreement with Spotify back in April. Under the terms of that deal, Spotify allowed Universal's artists to make their new albums available to paid subscribers only for two weeks. For a long time, Spotify held fast to its refusal to separate content into premium versus free tiers, making its entire catalog available whether users paid for the service or not.

After the Universal deal, major indie label Merlin followed suit and signed a deal that allows its artists to withhold their new music from free-tier Spotify users for two weeks. It's likely that Spotify did not have much of a choice in the matter; in exchange for relenting, Spotify receives a break in fees it has to pay, which is crucial to the streaming service's growth.

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