Over the last year the music industry has been in flux as artists, labels, and streaming services jockey over the best way to build the future of their business. Taylor Swift pulled her catalog from Spotify; Tidal launched a new platform owned by artists, not record companies; and Apple is preparing to muscle in on the market with its own offering. The one thing missing from much of this discussion has been the details on how deals get done between these groups, but that is no longer the case.
The Verge has obtained a contract between Sony Music Entertainment and Spotify giving the streaming service a license to utilize Sony Music’s catalog. The 42-page contract was signed in January 2011, a few months before Spotify launched in the US. Written by Sony Music, the two-year deal — with an optional third year that Sony Music could pick up — reveals how much Spotify must pay in yearly advances to Sony, the subscriber goals that Spotify must hit, and how streaming rates are calculated.