Thursday, December 19, 2019

Article: Mutually-assured destruction: How Spotify and Apple Music will kill each other off

Spotify apple music tidal

While it makes a certain type of business sense for Spotify to hold back on promotion if an artist strikes a deal with their direct competitor, this latest round of complaints suggests that Spotify has extended this lack of promo to music that appears ‘anywhere in advance of Spotify’ – in one case, a premiere on a music blog.

Digital Music News viewed written correspondence from Spotify, explaining their ‘release parity’ policy: they won’t promote any new music that appears ‘anywhere’ in advance of it landing on their platform. This includes banning the music from their editorial playlists, inclusion on which drives huge first-week streaming numbers, which many artists rely upon for a strong chart debut.


Viewers are trained to expect television companies to compete with each other – from free-to-air to streaming, this has always been the way. But music seems different, somehow. It’s in the waterstream. It’s carried through the air. It belongs to everyone. It’s older than language. And nobody is going to put up with streaming services that offer up every third new release, bouncing angrily between apps as they try to work out where they can listen to the new Childish Gambino record.

They will just give up, and the foothold that Spotify, Apple Music have gained over the past five years will be lost – to piracy, to YouTube, to any easier option that presents itself. And if Spotify and Apple Music continue their game of mutually assured destruction, blacklisting artists, scrapping for exclusives, and trying to wipe out blogs and radio while they are at all, a better option will jump in and fill the gap. It always does.

(Via Mutually-assured destruction: How Spotify and Apple Music will kill each other off.)

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