METALLICA has released the following statement:"We're beyond excited to announce that music from every single METALLICA album is now streaming on Spotify! "In our never-ending quest for total control of the way our music is presented, we always make it a point to be sure that we are offering you the very best service by partnering with ground-breaking technology companies. So with that said, we are extremely proud to be a part of Spotify, who not only has a proven track record, but is by far the best streaming service. "Spotify was launched in Sweden in 2008 and has grown into a massive world-wide service with on-demand access to over 20 million songs. You can create and manage all your play-lists, share them with your friends and add to them by importing MP3s you already own. Now you can also take Spotify with you through their new mobile app. "We're always looking for more ways to get our music out to you, whether it's streaming live videos through our tour page on this site or offering downloads of live shows through LiveMetallica.com. Connecting with Spotify was the next logical step and we can't wait to see what the future brings!" Back in 2000, METALLICA launched legal action against Napster, claiming that the pioneering music file-sharing service was illegally allowing users to download METALLICA tracks without paying royalties to the band. Although the case was settled out of court, 300,000 users were banned from Napster as a result and METALLICA's image took a tremendous beating in the eyes of music fans. METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich, who was the main spokesperson for METALLICA in the Napster battle, later admitted that he wished he had dealt with the situation differently. METALLICA announced on November 30 that it has taken ownership of all the band's master recordings and long-form videos under a provision of the band's 1994 joint venture agreement with the Warner Music Group. According to that provision — almost unheard of for acts signed to major label contracts — all the masters reverted back to the band as of Friday. Frontman James Hetfield said in a statement, "We would like to thank everyone at the Warner Music Group for 28 years of a fantastic relationship, particularly since 1994 where we truly felt we had partners in every aspect of our business in North America."
The band has also revealed that it is launching its own label, called Blackened Recordings, that will be the new home for all of their recordings and videos, as well as anything else that the band may come up with. All marketing and promotion will be handled by Blackened, with distribution through Rhino Entertainment in North America and the Universal Music Group internationally. Drummer Lars Ulrich said, "Forming Blackened Recordings is the ultimate in independence, giving us 100 percent control and putting us in the driver's seat of our own creative destiny." Ulrich told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that METALLICA was long past the point where the band needed a corporate record label to support it. "The great thing about being in a band like us is that we're in a position to bypass the record company," he said. "Basically record companies act like banks. And when you don't need the bank element of a record company, then you can kind of do it yourself." METALLICA is also working on a 3D feature film for release next summer, as well as a new studio album that should surface in early 2014.