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SPOTIFY REVERSING COURSE ON PREMIUM ONLY?

Spotify is planning to give some artists a window in which to start releasing albums only to its 20m+ premium-tier subscribers, unnamed music executives have told The Wall Street Journal.

The company is initially trying the new approach as a test, according to these sources. Even on an experimental basis, the move would mark a major reversal for Spotify.

According to a source, Spotify several weeks ago tentatively agreed to let Coldplay put Head Full of Dreams on the premium service only, for several weeks after its 12/4 release. Ultimately Spotify didn’t grant the band’s request because the group’s management couldn’t guarantee that it could keep the album off other free sites, including YouTube, while it was unavailable on Spotify Free, the source continued. Coldplay’s album has been available on premium-only streaming services since it was released last Friday. It will be made available to all Spotify users this Friday (12/11).

When a WSJ reporter informed Spotify that it was running with the story, Jonathan Prince, the company’s Global Head of Communications & Public Policy, responded: “We are 100 percent committed to our model because we believe that a free, ad-supported tier combined with a more robust premium tier is the best way to deliver music to fans, create value for artists and songwriters, and grow the industry. In that context, we explored a wide range of promotional options for the new Coldplay album and ultimately decided, together with management, that Coldplay and its fans would best be served with the full album on both free and premium this Friday.”

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