According to a report published by "Music Ally", via "Billboard", “Spotify has offered advances to a number of managers and indie acts in exchange for licensing their music directly to the streaming service. [...] Under the terms of some of the deals, management firms can receive several hundred thousand dollars as an advance fee… Then, in at least some cases, the managers and acts stand to earn 50 percent of the revenue per stream on those songs on Spotify”.
The streaming platform still has to comment on the story. And, as "Music Ally" explains, the 50% rev-share is less than Spotify pays out to labels through its licensing deals, but more than artists’ cut would be if they were signed to labels.
Spotify signing direct deals with independent artists may not be seen as a shot across the majors’ bows, but if it were to strike similar agreements with bigger stars, it could be accused of being in “violation” of its deals with the major labels, given the inclusion of non-competition clauses.
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