This means they'll be able to access music from artists and labels that have pulled their catalogs from Spotify's streaming. It also may be that they pay even less.
yes on both counts, and it allows them to build a subscriber base that they can migrate for the on demand business.
spotify has been aggressively pushing for an on demand streaming stat rate, which would be a disaster for everyone but spotify.
this appears to be a stop-gap fix. also, what we don't know is if labels are taking the stat rate via soundexchange that pays 50% to artists directly, or say perhaps the labels are taking a 75% of Stat direct payment where the artists share is paid to the label, and recouped against advances.
hmmmmmm... Spotify represents the worst of the old and the worst of the new, artists getting screwed by both labels and tech in new and inventive ways.