Spotify closes in on new Sony licensing deal

The agreement is almost done, but the specific terms haven't been disclosed.

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Swapna Krishna
July 11, 2017 5:48 PM
In this article: entertainment, services, sony, spotify
Christian Hartmann / Reuters
Christian Hartmann / Reuters

Spotify has been clamoring to strike deals with major and minor labels before it goes public, and now it's one step closer. Billboard reports that a deal has been struck between Sony and the music streaming service. The deal's terms haven't been made public, though the specifics are similar to Universal's agreement with Spotify.

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 didn't 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.

The only major label deal that's outstanding is Warner Music Group, and that's likely coming soon. Spotify is racing to have deals in place because a robust music library will make it easier to attract investors once it goes public. It remains to be seen what Spotify will have to give up in order to get that deal in place.

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