Back in February, Spotify was 'a few weeks away' from signing a deal with Universal Music. Apparently, those 'few weeks' were actually months.
All Things Digital is reporting that the European streaming music service has inked a deal with UMG. That means Spotify now has deals with three of the four major labels: UMG, EMI and Sony. Warner Music Group has yet to get out a pen, but All Things D says it's close, which means that the service could finally be coming to the U.S.
What's the holdup? The U.S. record companies are reportedly not overly enthusiastic about Spotify's 'freemium' business model, where the company gives away ad-supported music in hopes of signing paying subscribers to its ad-free version. That premium service lets users choose and replay their music.
Still, Spotify started cutting back on free music in May, requiring users to pay for deeper access, so the company is clearly open to compromise.
It seems rumors have been swirling about Spotify nonstop lately, with folks speculating that it would partner with Google for a cloud-based music service (it didn't) and that Facebook is interested in teaming up (it's probably not).
This recent deal can't be confirmed with Spotify as the company never comments on such deals, but it doesn't seem out of the question. All four major labels recently signed licensing deals with Apple for its iTunes to the Cloud and iTunes Match services, which seems to indicate that the majors are opening up to the ways of the digital age (iTunes in the Cloud is free, and iTunes Match costs around $25 per year). Still, Apple has a lot more clout than Spotify - to say the least.
It's been slow going when it comes to bringing Spotify to the U.S., and with plenty of longstanding competitors already in the ring, we'll just have to wait and see what kind of impact it makes if/when it arrives.
Author: / Posted: 11-06-2011