New albums for some of Universal Music artists will only be available to premium Spotify subscribers for the first two weeks after launch, the two companies announced.
This newly penned deal means that for the first time ad-supported Spotify users will not have full access to Spotify's catalogue of music. This decision sees Spotify drop its long-held, and hugely controversial belief that all music on the platform should be available for free, with the hope of converting users to a subscription later.
Universal Music has artists such as Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Kanye West and Adele, many of whom have previously voiced their discontent over Spotify's streaming model. Swift famously pulled all her music from the platform. Spotify has said that artists will now be able to opt into the staggered release of their work. Ad-supported users will have to either pay for a subscription (starting at £9.99pm) or wait for a fortnight.
Daniel Ek, chairman and chief executive of Spotify, said: "This partnership is built on a mutual love of music, creating value for artists and delivering for fans. We will be working together to help break new artists and connect new and established artists with a broadening universe of fans in ways that will wow them both.
"We know that not every album by every artist should be released the same way, and we've worked hard with UMG to develop a new, flexible release policy," Ek continued.
Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman and chief executive of Universal Music Group said: "Eight years ago, when streaming was a welcome but small source of revenue, UMG embraced partners like Spotify as a way to help return music to a vibrant future benefitting the entire ecosystem. Working hand in hand with these digital services brought us the industry's first real growth in nearly two decades. Today, streaming represents the majority of the business. Our challenge is transforming that upturn into sustainable growth.
"In a market this dynamic, one evolving more rapidly than ever before, success requires creative and continual re-evaluation of how best to bring artists' music to fans. At UMG, we've not only reimagined distribution models and technologies, but entire business models. The only constants must be great music and fair compensation for artists and creators."