A new deal with Universal Music Group could force millions to shell out $10 a month — here’s why it’s worth it.

If you’ve ever used an unpaid Spotify account to stream new releases by artists like Drake, Beyonce (except for “Lemonade”) and Ed Sheeran, hopefully you savored those moments.

That’s because a new deal between Spotify and Universal Music Group will give artists the ability to stream their albums exclusively to paid subscribers for a two week period, according to Quartz.

This means that millions of users won’t get to hear new music before it’s, well, old.

Spotify hasn’t announced the exact number of subscribers that use the free tier, but in March, the music streaming service confirmed that it has 50 million paid subscribers. And last year, it reported that 30 percent of its total users were paid subscribers.

That’s a pretty tiny number. It actually reveals that Spotify doesn’t make much off its free subscribers at all. According to that same report, 90 percent of the company’s revenue came from paid subscriptions.

And with 70 percent of the service’s users not paying, it’s missing out on a lot of potential revenue.

So it makes sense why the company is going this route: to push commitophobes to the next level.

Here’s why you should go for it

In the grand scheme of things, Spotify wouldn’t be asking for much, assuming the $9.99 monthly subscription is going to stay the same.

Here’s how the other big music streaming services compare with their paid subscriptions:

  • Spotify: $10/month
  • Amazon Music: $8/month for Prime members, $10/month for non-Prime members
  • Apple Music: $10/month
  • Pandora Premium: $10/month
  • Tidal: $10/month regular, $20/month HiFi (high-resolution audio)

If the numbers stay the same once the deal takes place, it’d be worth sticking with Spotify. If we’re going off of popularity, Spotify takes the crown. It has the highest number of paid subscribers according to Quartz, when compared to Apple Music, Tidal and others.

With this Universal partnership, it might make the service more appealing from the artists’ end, too. Meaning there’s a chance musicians will give Spotify exclusive streaming rights over other services and you’ll get to hear the new stuff first.

Plus, compared to other non-streaming options, if you’re a regular audiophile, this definitely gives you the most bang for your buck.

Let’s put it into perspective

Spotify unlimited streaming for the year: ~$10 x 12 months = ~$120

The monthly subscription rate gives you access to multiple artists and their complete discography — old and new stuff all at your fingertips.

One new CD release a month: ~$15 x 12 months = ~$180

You better really like this one artist, because you’ll be playing their 12-track release a lot. This price point would get you one brand new release for five dollars more than a Spotify subscription and there’d be no strings — no data or Wi-Fi connection necessary. But that single CD is all you get.

One new record a month: ~$24 x 12 months = ~$288

Vinyl is an investment. And its prices can range anywhere from $12 to $40 for a new release depending on factors like how big the production run was, if it’s a single or double LP, if it’s a special release in a fancy color or something and more. But assuming each new record you purchase is $24, you’d be almost $300 in the hole at the end of the year. Granted, the records hold more value than CDs do. But it’s really only something you’re going to want to do if you’re a collector, and you run into the same problem as CDs: same stuff over and over.

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Meet the Author

Emily Bloch

Emily Bloch


Bloch is a reporter for the Sun-Sentinel based in South Florida.

Lifestyle, Pop Culture, Tech

entertainment, Money and Music, music, save money

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Article last modified on January 15, 2018 Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Spotify Wants Users to Commit to a Paid Subscription - AMP.