Merlin has inked a new windowing agreement with Spotify, in a deal aimed at “reflecting and promoting the value of Merlin’s collective offering of its members’ repertoire”.
The new deal will allow Merlin members labels to participate in Spotify’s recently announced ‘flexible release’ or 'windowing' policy. Last month, Spotify struck a new deal with Universal Music Group, allowing artists to release new albums on premium only for two weeks - a long-term goal for many artists and labels alike.
Merlin licensed Spotify when it launched back in 2008 and the streaming giant’s fourth largest partner. offers a single global license, access to music from thousands of independent record labels and distributors from more than 50 countries across all continents. These include Armada Music, Beggars Group, Domino, Entertainment One, Epitaph/Anti, Hopeless Records, Kobalt Music Recordings, Mad Decent, Naxos, [PIAS], Secretly Group, Sub Pop and Warp, representing many of the world’s most important and successful artists.
Spotify co-founder and CEO Daniel EK tweeted: “Indie music has been a huge part of our success since day one & I am super happy to say we have a new, multi-year deal w/ @merlinnetwork
Charles Caldas, CEO, Merlin, said: “Merlin was a launch partner to Spotify back in 2008, and our partnership has thrived ever since. This new agreement lays the path to future sustainable growth for us both, and we look forward to remaining an integral part in the service's continued success.”
Martin Mills, chairman, Merlin, added: “I’m delighted that Merlin has reached this new agreement with Spotify. We’ve been great partners for each other, and this updated arrangement allows independents in the Merlin community the comfort of knowing they have a highly competitive deal and parity of access to the service, whilst creating a commercial environment in which Spotify can grow to the benefit of all of us.”
Spotify's deal with Universal earlier this month was a breakthrough deal for the industry, after the streaming service had previously stood firm on its releasing stance - it famously fell out with US megastar Taylor Swift over its inflexible approach.
In a joint statement, the two companies claimed the deal would "advance their partnership to ensure that streaming realises its full transformational potential for artists, labels and fans by delivering a comprehensive range of music experiences". This will include providing more flexibility for new releases, and collaborating on innovative marketing campaigns across Spotify’s platform. The new agreement will also provide UMG with unprecedented access to data, creating the foundation for new tools for artists and labels to expand, engage and build deeper connections with their fans.
Warner Music Group and Sony Music have yet to comment on whether or not they will be entering into similar windowing agreements with Spotify. Music Week has approached both for comment.