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Universal Music CEO Grainge decries spam music on streaming platforms

FILE PHOTO: Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, arrives for the Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge on Wednesday lamented the increasing use of short, low-quality music clips on streaming music platforms, saying they undermine the experience of fans and are aimed at evading royalty payments to artists.

Universal is the largest record label.

In a New Year's note to staff, Grainge said platforms use popular music to entice customers, but algorithms guide them to cheaper "lower-quality functional content that in some cases can barely pass for 'music'."

He said Spotify's pioneering launch of a subscription model in 2011 had proved a boon for the industry, but that that was more than a decade ago.

"As technology advances and platforms evolve, it’s not surprising that there’s also a need for business model innovation," he said.

"There is a growing disconnect between, on the one hand, the devotion to those artists whom fans value and seek to support and, on the other, the way subscription fees are paid by the platforms."

"We need an updated model... (that rewards) artists, fans, and labels alike."

He said the company was working on unspecified innovations to make that happen and create a "healthier, more competitive music ecosystem" in 2023.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Bernadette Baum)