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A new Spotify deal lets indie labels put albums behind a two-week paywall

on April 21, 2017, 10:05am

A few weeks ago, we reported that Spotify was, as part of a new licensing deal with Universal Music Group, offering the label’s artists the option of restricting their new albums to paid subscribers for the first two weeks of release. Now, it seems it won’t just be the Adeles and Coldplays of the world with such a choice.

Today, Spotify revealed it reached a similar licensing agreement with Merlin, a digital rights agency that represents thousands of indies. As such, users of Spotify’s free service may soon find themselves bereft of even more albums. Artists on indie labels from 51 countries, including Sub Pop, Warp, Mad Decent, Domino, Epitaph/ANTI, and Merge, as well as companies like Beggars Group (Matador, XL, etc.) and Secretly Group (Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar, Dead Oceans), can now restrict streaming of their albums to Spotify’s paying subscribers for a two-week window.

No artists have opted in to this process of “windowing” just yet, but Pitchfork reports that Spotify is reportedly in talks with labels Sony and Warner about new licensing agreements. Soon, it seems, this practice will be the new norm.