Spotify hates it when big-name artists take their music to its competitors first before it arrives on its platform. And on Friday, Bloomberg reported that the music streaming service was punishing musicians who signed exclusive deals with its competitors.
The punishments reportedly included barring them from being featured on playlists. But Spotify representatives said that the search results are not changed based on the musicians’ relationships to Apple Music, Tidal, and other competing services.
Furthermore, Bloomberg reported that the tactics of this music streaming service keep the artists neutral in the streaming wars. One artist even cancelled plans to launch a song on Apple Music for fear of being punished by Spotify.
Apple and Tidal are battling over exclusive content from big-name artists to attract more users to their services. But Spotify didn’t want to join in. Its executives even criticised such tactic as harmful to the music business. For them, exclusives will only frustrate consumers and can lead to market fragmentation.
But Spotify denied the accusations. Its representative said that the report is “unequivocally false.”
It makes sense for the company’s business if its users would find it difficult to look for music they wanted to hear, like Drake’s and Kanye West’s. These two artists brought their new music to Apple and Tidal before they even released them on Spotify.
Spotify will want to give artists some signs that they shouldn’t engage in exclusives. Apple and Tidal have secured exclusive deals with big-name artists by giving them a combination of cash, marketing support, and equity.
Frank Ocean and His New Album
Frank Ocean’s new album was launched exclusively on Apple Music. Industry experts are saying that it’ll stay there for a week or two. When the deal is over, Spotify will want the artist’s music to be available to its millions of customers instead of giving them a reason to sign up to Apple.
However, the different points of view of streaming services about exclusives are pragmatic and philosophical. Apple Music has unlimited financial resources allowing the company to offer millions of dollars for exclusive deals and artist relationships.
Tidal, on the other hand, has a personal connection with some of the biggest names in the music industry.
Unfortunately, for Spotify, it doesn’t have those factors. However, it has a giant sales funnel because of its enormous base of free users.
It also offers the best user experience compared to other streaming services. That said, exclusives are clearly the only advantage that Apple and Tidal have over Spotify.
Still, we’re not sure what kind of prize these players are competing for. But for some financial experts, music streaming business is actually a terrible business.
Just remember what happened to Rdio. It went bankrupt.
Then, Pandora had a “for sale” sign while it got rid of its artists, labels, and CEO.
But who should we blame for it? No one can give us a clear answer.
But one thing is for sure. How we consume music has changed forever. All evidence shows that the digital music business is no longer profitable. The only way for artists to make it work is to be a part of a large company, like Apple or Google.