Earlier this month, Universal and Spotify struck a deal that allows the major label to exclusively offer new releases to Spotify Premium users for the first two weeks. Now, indie labels have reach a similar agreement with the streaming service.
Yesterday (April 20), Spotify announced a licensing deal with digital rights agency Merlin, which represents more than 20,000 indie labels from 51 different countries; included under that umbrella are Beggars Group (Matador, XL), Domino, Entertainment One, Merge, Epitaph/Anti-, Hopeless Records, Kobalt Music Recordings, Mad Decent, PIAS, Secretly Group (Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar, Dead Oceans), Sub Pop and Warp.
The new agreement mirrors that of Universal's "windowing" option, allowing the Merlin-affiliated indies to keep their releases behind Spotify's Premium paywall for two weeks upon release. That means free Spotify users will either have to wait or up their subscription tier to hear new tunes if the label so chooses.
Spotify has confirmed that Universal has yet to take advantage of their recently awarded "windowing" option.
The streaming giant is reportedly also in talks with Sony and Warner over similar licensing agreements.