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WILL EX-UMG LICENSING EXPERT HELP SPOTIFY MAKE A KEELING?

Spotify has tapped ex-UMG exec Francis Keeling as VP, global head of licensing. Keeling oversaw negotiations with digital services, including Spotify and Apple, from the rights-holder side at Universal, so it's expected he'll be a potent force in the renewal of the streaming leader's agreements with the majors. He'll report to chief content officer Stefan Blom, who called him "one of the very best in the business."

His arrival coincides with increased talk about the role of windowing in new releases and whether Spotify will at last begin allowing new music to be kept behind its subscription paywall.

Spotify's reportedly been on a month-to-month licensing basis with several majors since their most recent deals expired.

Keeling served at UMG for 14 years, recently on the team of  ex-global digital biz prexy Rob Wells, who exited the label group early last year.

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