Report: Spotify Denies Claims Of Penalizing Artists For Deals With Apple Music
One of the bigger streaming music wars right now is between Apple Music and Spotify — and according to a new report, the latter is taking petty to a whole different level.
Bloomberg reports that Spotify is retaliating against artists who host new music exclusively on Apple Music, by making their songs harder to find on their service. The story says that artists who team up with the competition won't have their new music added to Spotify's featured playlists once it becomes available on the service, and that their songs will be buried in the the app's search rankings. The threats have been used not just on major artists, the story explains, but on lesser-known ones who would introduce their music on a Beats 1 radio show.
A Spotify spokesperson told Okayplayer that the Bloomberg report is "unequivocally false."
Spotify is the largest music streaming service in the world, with a reported 30 million-plus subscribers globally. But Apple Music has been nipping at its heels, gaining an estimated 15 million users since its June 2016 debut. A big part of its strategy is striking deals with artists like Drake, Chance The Rapper and Frank Ocean to exclusively host their music on the service. Usually Apple Music and iTunes will have exclusive rights to the album for two weeks, and then the record is added to other services like Spotify, Tidal (which has used a similar strategy for projects like Beyoncé's Lemonade and Kanye West's new music video for "Fade") and Google Play.
Fans, Spotify and even Kanye West have complained about the exclusive deals being split between services. But for some of the artists involved, they have seemingly worked out well. Drake broke streaming records for his latest album Views, Chance The Rapper became the first artist to make the Billboard charts through an album that was only available for streaming, and Frank Oceanscored his first Billboard no. 1 album while landing a record-tying 12 songs on the Hot R&B Songs chart. And of course, Beyonce's Lemonade still broke the Internet regardless.
But on the flip side, several of Tidal's exclusive releases didn't work. They botched the release of Rihanna's Anti in January, with the album mistakenly appearing on the service for 20 minutes and allowing bootleggers to rip the songs. Tidal's botched release for Kanye West's The Life Of Pablo led to more than 500,000 illegal downloads within the first 24 hours.
If true, Bloomberg's report against Spotify would be intense because it would show a dirty side to the streaming wars that we're unfortunately used to seeing in the music industry: corruption. Do you think the rumors are true, or that Spotify wouldn't do such a thing?