Spotify HQ

Rumours have been circulating for the past few weeks that changes will be coming to Spotify as artist royalties have become increasingly controversial with Beatport’s 5% royalty commissions and Taylor Swift’s outrage at Apple Music’s (now reversed) decision not to pay artists during the free three month trial of Apple Music.

Now in an interview with Hits Daily Double Lucian Grainge, Universal Music Group chief executive, has confirmed that while Spotify’s free model won’t be eliminated there will be alterations to the ‘freemium’ service.

When asked about the “streaming landscape” Grainge said:

When you cut through all the noise, the potential is enormous, and obviously I remain incredibly optimistic. A lot of the press coverage and industry chatter has been dominated by the “freemium” debate, which has degraded the conversation to the point where you’re cast as either “for” or “against” ad-supported on-demand music consumption. Clearly, it’s not that simplistic. As I’ve said before, while ad-supported on-demand music definitely has a place, whether that’s as part of discovery or trials of new products and offerings, freemium alone is inadequate to support our critical ecosystem of artists, labels and the platforms themselves. What that means is that we must seek the proper balance between ad-supported and paid subscription. It’s not one or the other. With the two approaches in proper relationship, we can continue the level of investment we make in artists who then, in turn, can be fairly compensated for their work. If we get that right, everyone wins. That’s what we’re working towards.

We’re yet to see what shape these supposed changes could take but stay tuned for information regarding Spotify’s services and models over the next few months.