MBW understands that Spotify and Universal Music Group’s last multi-year licensing deal came to an end in the first quarter of 2019, meaning the two parties have technically been out of contract (or, more accurately, on a rolling contract) for over a year.
That all changes today (July 22), as the two companies announce a new, multi-year global licensing agreement which they say “further aligns [our] efforts to foster groundbreaking new features providing value for artists and great experiences for music fans”.
There’s not much to say other than that – the announcement is unsurprisingly light on details – but apparently UMG will “deepen its leading role as an early adopter of future products and provide valuable feedback to Spotify’s development team”.
(Sidenote: within the announcement, UMG calls itself “music’s most innovative company”, which is a bold claim – and no doubt one which will invite chagrin from the firm’s major and independent rivals.)
Spotify’s recent product launches have included Marquee – which enables labels to promote new releases via paid-for marketing pop-ups on the platform – plus Canvas, which enables labels and artists to add looping visuals to their tracks during playback.
Daniel Ek, Chairman & CEO of Spotify, said, “From their early experimentation with Marquee, to testing new experiences like Canvas, Universal Music Group has been an important partner in helping to shape the development of our marketing tools. With today’s announcement, we will expand on this level of early stage innovation and further strengthen our partnership and shared vision for helping advance artists at all stages of their careers.
“We’ve said all along, the goal of our Marketplace strategy is to harness Spotify’s ability to connect artists with fans on a scale that has never before existed and bring new opportunities to the industry. Together, we look forward to reinvesting in and building new tools and offerings for artists around the world.”
Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group (pictured), said, “With this agreement, UMG and Spotify are more aligned than ever in our commitment to ensuring the entire music ecosystem thrives and reaches new audiences around the globe. Given our commitment to innovation and early adoption of music technologies, and Spotify’s leadership in the development of forward-thinking tools, our new partnership will provide our artists with new and powerful opportunities to connect with fans on Spotify’s growing platform.
“Working together, our teams will expand and accelerate our collaborative efforts to deliver artist-focused initiatives, strategic marketing campaigns and new offerings to provide exciting new experiences for fans worldwide.”
Spotify inked a fresh licensing agreement with Warner Music Group in April. The firm previously signed a deal with indie body Merlin last year.Music Business Worldwide