Universal using licensing renewal negotiations to get Spotify to cut back on free streaming
Spotify is also facing competition from Apple, whose new streaming music service is expected to launch later this year with the release of iOS 8.4. Apple is seeking to renegotiate lower fees with the music providers, including Universal Music Group, in an attempt to undercut Spotify's $10 a month paid service.
Universal is trying to use its leverage with Spotify to force the latter to develop a plan that would migrate free listeners into the paid subscribers' category. Those streaming via Spotify for free cannot choose the titles that they hear using the mobile app, and cannot use the app offline. But Spotify fears that by making its free streaming tier more restrictive, users would leave for YouTube which offers practically no limits on music. And the streamer also says that it is wrong to blame it for the declining music downloads on iTunes, saying that the subscribers it is monetizing are those who never paid for music before.
source: FinancialTimes (registration req'd) via Telegraph.co.uk, Engadget