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Warner Music ends free streaming: No more Muse, REM, Arctic Monkeys on Spotify?

Warner has said it will no longer license its artists' music to free streaming services such as Spotify. Calamity!

Warner Music will no longer allow its artists' music to be streamed for free, in what could be a serious blow to services such as Spotify and CNET UK's sister site Last.fm. Not to mention consumers, who are a step ahead of Warner in that they realise it's, like, the 21st century.

The BBC reports that Warner will no longer license its music to free streaming services. We don't yet know whether this means yanking artists such as Muse, REM and Kathryn Jenkins from existing services, refusing to enter new deals with these services in future, or just refusing new services.

But it's not all bad news. Spotify, which is understood to be backed by a number of the major labels, operates a paid premium subscription, and there's a possibility Warner could still embrace the paid streaming model. Or it could just as easily throw its toys out of the pram completely, pull all its music entirely from streaming services, and possibly spend the rest of the day kicking kittens.

Other Warner artists include Arctic Monkeys, My Chemical Romance, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Talib Kweli, Green Day, Biffy Clyro, Marina and the Diamonds, and that nice Michael Bubble. Warners stalwarts Metallica already refuse to stream their music, the grumpy gets.

Update: Spotify has confirmed in a tweet that Warner is not pulling out of its service, so "don't worry-be happy".