Uruguayan President “In Talks” with Spotify to Prevent Departure

is Spotify leaving Uruguay
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Photo Credit: Guilherme Hellwinkel

Following news that Spotify would leave Uruguay, the country’s president says he is in talks with Spotify to resolve the conflict.

Spotify announced it would cease service in Uruguay in February 2024 following the passage of a new music copyright bill requiring “fair and equitable remuneration” for authors, composers, performers, and artists in the country. In October 2023, the Uruguay parliament voted for Article 285, initiating the changes. Spotify says if the costs are passed on to streaming platforms, it would have to pay twice for the same music.

“Spotify already pays nearly 70% of every dollar it generates from music to the record labels and publishers that own the rights for music, and represent and pay artists and songwriters,” a statement to MBW confirmed. “Any additional payments would make our business untenable.” Following those comments, local news in Uruguay reports that President Luis Lacalle Pou is in direct talks with the platform to resolve the conflict.

“You have to be balanced. We understand that [Spotify] is a very important platform. You have to somehow take care of the interpreters, the authors. We are in talks. Let’s go ahead, I hope we are going to agree,” Lacalle Pou said in comments made to local press.

Spotify began informing its customers in Uruguay about the pending changes in the form of a notification upon opening the application and by email.

The message says “Spotify will begin to gradually withdraw its service in Uruguay as of January 1, 2024 and will completely cease service in February.” Uruguay officials say they are in continued talks to prevent Spotify from leaving the country in that timeline.

Spotify says it contributed to 20% growth in Uruguay’s music industry in 2022, with the nation becoming the 53rd largest market for streamed music. Broad changes at Spotify have been introduced in an attempt to stop stream gaming and reduce royalty payments to ‘white noise’ content. The biggest change is songs with fewer than 1,000 streams annually will no longer generate royalty payments. Spotify claims less than 0.5% of its tracks have fewer than 1,000 streams per year.