Universal Music, Spotify expand ties to boost fan engagement

THE UNIVERSAL Music Group, the world’s biggest record label, expanded its relationship with Spotify Technology to boost fan engagement and music discovery.

Universal, the company behind Taylor Swift and Drake, said its artists will soon be able to share teasers of upcoming music on Spotify, according to a statement released last Thursday.

The new contours of the partnership come amid Universal’s ongoing dispute with TikTok, the short-form video service. The disagreement kicked off in January when Universal’s contract with TikTok lapsed and the two companies failed to find common ground on an extension. Songs from Universal’s catalog have disappeared from the platform. Unlike Spotify, TikTok doesn’t allow listeners to play entire songs.

Additionally, a new agreement with Universal Music Publishing Group will enable Spotify to distribute music videos in the US, the company said in the statement.

In 2017, Spotify struck a long-term licensing deal to keep offering songs from Universal. The deal also allowed Universal to get data from Spotify on the listening patterns of its users, helping the label improve its marketing to fans. — Bloomberg