It’s taken two years to get over the line, but Universal Music Group has finally pledged to share with its recording artists the cash it generates from the sale of its Spotify stock.
The market leading music major will follow the lead of Warner Music and Sony Music Entertainment and distribute equity proceeds from Spotify, which last week filed to float on the New York Stock Exchange.
All three majors and Merlin, the digital rights agency which represents the independent music community, took equity in Spotify when the streaming service opened for business in 2008.
About 24 months ago, Warner and Sony committed to paying out a chunk of their Spotify stake, and the indie community would be rewarded through the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN)’s Fair Digital Deals Declaration. But UMG has kept shtum. Until now.
A Universal spokesperson broke the news to Music Business Worldwide with a brief statement: “Consistent with UMG’s approach to artist compensation, artists would share in the proceeds of a [Spotify] equity sale.”
MBW suggests UMG may have had its hands tied on declaring its position until Spotify confirmed the music industry’s worst-kept secret and set in motion its flotation plans, which it did last Wednesday (Feb 28) when it filed paperwork with the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).