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Universal Music Group CEO Welcomes Spotify Raising Prices – The Hollywood Reporter

todayJuly 26, 2023 4

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Universal Music Group chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge has welcomed Spotify raising prices for its premium paying subscriber base to boost streaming audio revenues for his label’s artist rosters.

“We obviously welcome Spotify’s announcement, as well as YouTube’s announcement,” Grainge told analysts, while also citing YouTube Music also raising its prices, after the major music label behind Sting, The Weeknd, Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande unveiled its second quarter earnings.

“But addressing average revenue per user is only one component. First we must ensure that real artists with real fan bases are fairly compensated,” he added, while talking up ongoing talks between the major music labels and streaming platforms.

“We see more alignment between the labels and the music platforms that we’ve ever seen before. That allows us to make sure the artists are better compensated and everyone is rewarded for the engagement that those artists drive,” he told analysts.

“We have more work to do, but I’m pleased with the progress we’re making with our platform partners,” Grainge added. Higher music streaming platform prices in the latest financial quarter — with recorded music subscription revenue growing 10.6 percent year-over-year, or 13 percent  in constant currency — followed Spotify announcing a subscription price increase earlier this week.

Spotify’s major label partners like UMG will gain from expanding streaming audio revenues as the audio subscription giant pays 70 percent of subscription and advertising fees to rights holders. But Grainge in his comments to analysts reiterated that the current streaming model had to go further to better compensate music artists, who remain “undervalued,” and increase engagement with their fan bases.

“I want to stress our goal is simple, to promote an environment where real music isn’t drowned out in a sea of noise,” Grainge insisted.

On the issue of artificial intelligence, Grainge touted UMG recently signing a deal with sound wellness company Endel to enable its roster of artists to use proprietary AI technology to create mood music soundscapes for daily activities like sleep and relaxation. The partnership will aim to respect creators’ rights as UMG gets set to roll out the first wave of soundscapes under the new agreement.

“We employ AI in identifying audiences for artists, enhancing the quality of immersive sound and other music experiences,” the UMG chairman and CEO told analysts during an afternoon online call.





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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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