Spotify has been making some very label-esque moves recently. For their latest, the streaming behemoth was revealed by Billboard Wednesday to have reportedly started offering advances to artists and managers.
Those advances, according to the report, come with an agreement regarding direct music licensing. Some management deals have reportedly been able to secure advances in the "several hundred thousand dollars" range for agreements that give them the chance to earn as much as half of all revenue. Typically, the artist's team receives nothing even close to that.
However, as the report makes clear, this label-like behavior still isn't enough—technically, anyway—to truly consider the streaming service a label. Some artists have reportedly been asked to refrain from using the word signed when talking about their Spotify deals. The deals, enticingly, require no promise of exclusivity and give master recordings ownership to the artist.
At the top of the month, Spotify backed away from its controversial hateful conduct policy, despite CEO Daniel Ek's comments just days earlier about future revisions. "It was never about punishing one individual artist or even naming one individual artist," Ek said during a Code Conference interview.
In a subsequent statement, a Spotify rep conceded that the language in the policy was simply too vague and had created confusion. "We don't aim to play judge and jury," the rep added. "We aim to connect artists and fans . . . Across all genres, our role is not to regulate artists. Therefore, we are moving away from implementing a policy around artist conduct."