Spotify May Restrict New Music Access to Paying Subscribers
Typically, when a high profile release like Pusha T’s upcoming Darkest Before Dawn drops on Spotify, users can listen to it immediately, whether or not they have a paid subscription. Non-paid subscribers have to listen to a few ads throughout the play-through, but that’s the only difference. Unfortunately, however, that may no longer be the case in the near future. According to The Wall Street Journal, Spotify is considering allowing some artists to restrict their latest releases to paid subscribers alone. Reportedly, some new drops will only be available to the service’s 20 million-plus paid subscribers while the 80 million listening for free will temporarily miss out on the tunes. “The shift is a coup for major record labels that have been lobbying for more flexibility when it comes to releasing albums on Spotify,” asserts WSJ.
The move — a “windowed” approach that will supposedly be an experiment to see what affect it has on usage and subscription sign-ups — is likely a reaction to the likes of Taylor Swift and Adele: Swift ultimately didn’t release 1989 on Spotify after asking the service to make it available only to paid subscribers (Spotify refused) while Adele’s 25 was withheld from streaming services entirely.
In the end, it looks like Adele made the right move: 25‘s lack of streaming availability likely had a direct affect on the album’s record-breaking first-week sales.