Spotify Is Said to Have Reconsidered Its Free Access Policy for Big Acts’ New …

9 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Spotify Is Said to Have Reconsidered Its Free Access Policy for Big Acts’ New Albums.

Since it started in 2008, the streaming service Spotify has clung fiercely to its so-called freemium model, arguing that the best way to get people to buy a subscription for unlimited music online is to make the same catalog of songs also available free to listeners, but with ads. LOS ANGELES (AP) — Music-streaming giant Spotify is considering allowing musicians to reserve new releases for paying subscribers, although it balked at doing so for Coldplay’s latest album, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Spotify might let artists release new music only through the service’s paid tier, bypassing the free tier that has inspired criticism from artists including Taylor Swift.Spotify will reportedly start allowing a select group of major artists to make their music available only to paying subscribers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Taylor Swift’s yanking of all her music from Spotify last year was quite the dramatic spectacle—but it wasn’t, ultimately, a game-changer for the music streaming industry. That strategy has helped Spotify grow into the biggest service of its kind, with what the company says is more than 20 million paying users and another 55 million who use its free version. It’s likely the company’s attempt to cater to popular acts like Taylor Swift and Adele, who have withheld releases from the streaming giant for financial reasons.

But in recent negotiations with the band Coldplay, the company showed a new openness to making exceptions to that model, according to people briefed on the talks. A “paid-only” window might also increase album sales if it led more music fans to purchase music instead of listening for free via cumbersome options involving ads or the use of computers instead of phones or tablets. This year, Adele declined to make her own new album, 25, available on the service — or any streaming service, for that matter — which likely contributed to her staggering sales figures. That strategy, sometimes called windowing, is something that record labels have long been lobbying for, but Spotify has resisted, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the talks publicly.

Music: “All I can say is that music is changing so quickly, and the landscape of the music industry itself is changing so quickly, that everything new, like Spotify, all feels to me a bit like a grand experiment. The company has reportedly discussed the idea in “private talks” and has told music executives that it will test out the feature soon, but has not yet decided which artist to start with, WSJ reports. Her album then sold 3.5 million copies in a single week, breaking a 15-year record and providing evidence for some that streaming services hurt music sales.

And I’m not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists, and creators of this music.” Spotify currently has roughly 20 million subscribers who pay $10 a month for unlimited, on-demand access, as well as 80 million users who are on the service’s ad-supported free tier. In that context, we explored a wide range of promotional options for the new Coldplay album and ultimately decided, together with management, that Coldplay and its fans would best be served with the full album on both free and premium this Friday.” But there are potential problems, too: As the Journal notes, Spotify’s decision to reverse course may put it in a new kind of trouble with the record industry if it chooses to offer special treatment to some artists over others.

Greenfield said. “The question is going to be, how do you draw the line where the free service doesn’t become a poor user experience.” But aside from a handful of major acts like Adele and Ms. Swift, who have defied industry trends by selling huge numbers of CDs and downloads, it is also unclear how many artists would want to remove themselves from Spotify’s free version, which for many acts has become an immensely valuable form of promotion.

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