Would you do a deal with Spotify?
According to an article posted by the NY Times, Spotify has quietly struck direct licensing deals with a small number of independent artists. The deals give those artists a way onto the streaming platform and a closer relationship to the company — an advantage when pitching music for its influential playlists — while bypassing the major labels altogether.
Although the deals are modest — with advance payments of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to several people involved — the big record companies see the Spotify initiative as a potential threat: a small step that, down the line, could reshape the music business as it has existed.
Spotify has offered few details about its entry into the talent marketplace. It has not revealed which artists it has made deals with. According to six people in the music industry who have been briefed on the recent deals, but were not authorized to discuss them publicly, Spotify has paid advances to management firms and other companies that represent artists who are not signed to a record label. For now, that means up-and-coming acts and older artists who have gained control over their vintage hits.
Spotify is offering artists two advantages: a bigger financial cut and ownership of their recordings. The deals, furthermore, are not exclusive, leaving the artists free to license their songs to other streaming companies, like Apple Music and Amazon. Spotify CEO Daneil EK was careful to add that such deals did not mean Spotify was turning into a record company — something that Spotify’s contracts with the big labels forbid, according to people briefed on the terms of those contracts.
“Licensing content does not make us a label, nor do we have any interest in becoming a label,” Mr. Ek discussed. “We don’t own any rights to any music, and we’re not acting like a record label.”
As an independent artist, would you sign a direct licensing deal with Spotify opposed to signing with a Major Label? Chime in below.