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Spotify mulls Swift change of policy – we can stream Taylor, but we'll charge

Subscriber-only album releases incoming, says report

By Kelly Fiveash, 9 Dec 2015

Spotify has reportedly been considering a major policy change to its music-streaming service, by allowing big name artists to release albums on the platform only to paying customers.

It comes after Spotify's chief Daniel Ek very publicly dissed pop star Taylor Swift late last year, after she pulled her catalogue from the service.

At the time, Ek said that music artists should accept the rates or put up with piracy.

Now, according to the Wall Street Journal – which cited insiders – Spotify has been mulling whether to allow some artists to release albums on the service only to its 20-million-strong subscriber base.

Customers pay $10 a month for an ad-free version of Spotify.

Apparently, the Swedish-based firm has plans to test such a "windowed" approach on some of its subscribers.

Swift had preferred to "window" the release of her bestselling album 1989, so such a move from Spotify would undoubtedly please record labels. Fans, however, may feel differently about any such policy tweak.

Over to Ek, who had this to say in his moanfest against Taylor Swift last year:

The more we grow, the more we’ll pay you. We’re going to be transparent about it all the way through. And we have a big team of your fellow artists here because if you think we haven’t done well enough, we want to know, and we want to do better. None of that is ever going to change.

To date, Spotify says it has paid $3bn in revenue to rights' holders. ®

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