Spotify has entered into a new agreement with Merlin, a digital rights agency representing over 20,000 independent labels. Under the agreement, labels can choose to place their music behind a time-limited paywall. When that option is utilized, only Spotify Premium users would initially have access to certain tracks.
This agreement is good for Spotify since it continues to give the music streaming access to a large collection of music. Even the ability for labels to use the service's "flexible release policy" isn't a negative for Spotify. If some content is regularly placed behind a paywall, more people may switch to paying for the service.
We first learned about the flexible release policy following a deal between Spotify and Universal Music Group earlier in April.