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Spotify’s $310 million FC Barcelona sponsorship deal confirmed – and it’s great news for artists, says Spotify

By | Published on Wednesday 16 March 2022

Spotify FC Barcelona

Spotify has confirmed its big old sponsorship deal with the Barcelona football team which will reportedly see the streaming firm hand over $310 million in cash over four years – the deal was first reported last month.

But, presumably aware that the mega-bucks sponsorship deal will be seized on by its critics in the music community who argue that the streaming company continues to underpay artists and songwriters, Spotify was keen to stress yesterday that music-makers will be key beneficiaries of its new football partnership. And this deal definitely has nothing to do with Spotify boss Daniel Ek’s known ambition to be somehow involved in the super fun business of kicking balls.

“The vision for the partnership is to create a new platform to help artists interact with Barcelona’s global community of fans”, Spotify’s Chief Freemium Business Officer Alex Norström insisted yesterday. “It’s about connecting fans with artists of every kind – players and artists, music and sports. Barcelona fans and audio lovers on Spotify will come together to form a massive, globally connected community bridging the worlds of music and football”.

“As we look to grow the Spotify brand worldwide”, he went on, “there are few partners that have this sort of scale and global reach. Being able to connect music and football fans from Barcelona to Mumbai, Jakarta to Rio De Janeiro, is really a unique opportunity”.

As part of the sponsorship deal, Spotify will get branding on the shirts worn by both the male and female FC Barcelona teams, as well as naming rights over the club’s stadium Camp Nou – or Spotify Camp Nou, if you prefer. And, Spotify also added yesterday, it will work together with FC Barcelona “to create opportunities for the iconic shirt to be a space that celebrates artists from across the world”. Similar artist promo will appear on the digital screens within Camp Nou. Lovely stuff.

“More fans engaging with our platform means more opportunities for creators to live off of their art”, Norström continued. “FC Barcelona’s massive global fanbase will help fuel that growth. And for fans – both music and Barça fans – we’ll be creating more interactive and exciting experiences to connect with the artists they love”.

What a time to be alive! And, of course, FC Barcelona, will get lots more exposure on the back of the partnership too. For example, when artists are moaning about Spotify on social media, or on stage, or at political events, or as they announce they are pulling their music from the platform, they will inevitably now bring up the fact Spotify can afford to hand over $310 million to a football team.

Plus, FC Barcelona can almost certainly be guaranteed a mention in the hearings before the Copyright Royalty Board in the US as the streaming services argue for a lower song royalty rate under the American compulsory licence. So, that’s international exposure! Good times.

The sponsorship deal is still technically to be approved by FC Barcelona’s Extraordinary Delegate Members Assembly, though that approval is generally seen as a given.