Spotify may restrict major album releases to its paid subscribers

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.

Florence Ion

Florence Ion was formerly an editor and columnist at Android Central. She writes about Android-powered devices of all types and explores their usefulness in her everyday life. You can follow her on Twitter or watch her Tuesday nights on All About Android.

  • I'd be concerned if good Rock and Roll hadn't been killed off by iTunes and the internet.
  • I wish more artists went independent. Record labels are the devil.
  • Well, record labels employ a lot of people. Independents don't, they are more concerned about their own pockets. So which is better for society?
  • I think Art in any form contributes more to a culture/society. Your argument is Financial not social
  • I agree with you that art and corporate structure should not go hand in hand. But on the other hand it is difficult to imagine many artists becoming big without the help of these companies and their money. Some of the big musicians just want to spread their art and that is difficult with an independent label.
  • I don't think this stands in this digital age.
  • Exactly, like it or not the record label model just works. A lot of good artists wouldn't be good without the help of record labels.
  • Record companies are only there to DECIDE who will become the next big thing. There will always be a demand for good music. As the role of record companies continues to decline, the truly talented artists will become popular based on their own merits, not based on what a room full of suits decide you should listen to.
  • "Art" should be just another form of work. You make things that people want to pay for, you make living. If you don't you have to get a job
  • The title of this article made me initally think Spotify was restricting new releases from subscribers. It should say "new releases only available to paid subscribers" or something like that.
  • Fine with me as I am an old crusty dude who only likes older music.
  • Good thing I'm a paid subscriber. Gotta love the 50% student discount.
  • For me I'm happy to play for a service and i think alot of people will do to but what we don't like is being ripped off by big companies like sky bt ect. Nextflix, Spotify, groove, Amazon prime all offer good services at a good price unlike the big ones who charge way to much imo.
  • Yeah... alright.  Works for me. 
  • Wait, there is this so called music still coming out these days? Lol
  • Nope.
  • As long as it doesn't touch hard Rock and trap it's okay
  • And the beginning of the end will ensue with Spotify, if it hasn't already...
  • I'm never going to be a paid subscriber of Spotify but I'm fine with this announcement since when I want to purchase a major album I prefer to get it on physical media. (Note: I haven't purchased a major album on CD since the 1990s LOL ).
  • Personally I think all new album/single releases should be delayed for non paying subscribers. The whole "get something for nothing" culture we've created needs to die a quick and painful death.