Spotify agrees to delay thousands of indie releases for free subscribers

The music service will offer indies a “two-week” windowing option.

Users of Spotify’s free service may have to wait an extra two weeks before streaming independent albums on the platform.

The streaming giant has signed a new licensing agreement with digital rights agency Merlin, which represents thousands of the world’s leading indie labels – including XL, Domino and Warp – that will offer labels the chance to introduce a “windowing” option with their releases. This means that new albums could be restricted to the site’s paying subscribers only for the first two weeks.

The move is seeking to encourage users to pay for a subscription, which generates more revenue for artist and label.

Spotify signed a similar deal with Universal Music Group (UMG) earlier this month that allows the major label to hold back certain albums from the streaming service’s free tier for two weeks. UMG’s roster features some of the world’s biggest artists, including Taylor Swift and Kanye West.

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