27 June 2018

Streaming giant Spotify is reportedly offering direct licensing agreements to artists.

Independent artists have reportedly been receiving offers of advances and appealing terms and conditions from Spotify for licensing their music directly. If these musicians accept, they would distribute their music directly through the streaming platform instead of via a third party company.

According to Billboard, Spotify’s offers of advances have reached “several hundred thousand dollars” in exchange for licensing certain tracks directly. In some cases the per-stream royalty split is said to be 50/50 between artist and streaming app, far more than any artist would receive under current arrangements.

Currently, most independent artists will use a third party distributor to license their music to Spotify. The streaming service’s new offers are intended to cut distributors out of the deal. Aside from the favorable rates, Spotify’s new deals also allow artists to own their own master recordings, something that labels rarely offer.

At the moment these arrangements are only being offered to independent acts, and popular ones at that. Artists signed to labels are unlikely to be approached soon. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek recently praised record labels at a corporate event, but it’s likely that this development will irk many in the industry.

Read more: Where does music streaming go next?

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