And so it begins: The Financial Times reports ) that Spotify is looking to restrict major album releases from some of the major record labels as an incentive to lower its royalty fees.
The ploy is apparently in response to the company's IPO ambitions—Spotify can't make money off free listeners, and it needs to be making money to legitimize its place on the stock market. Spotify currently serves 50 million paying subscribers around the world — a 40 percent increase from the year prior.
Of course, Spotify isn't the only music streaming service to offer this sort of exclusivity to its paying customers. Tidal, for instance, employs a "pay for access" business model, while Soundcloud keeps its bigger artist's music libraries exclusive to subscribers. There's no word on whether this deal has gone through yet, but when it does, there should be more information about which of our favorite artists will be affected.