Spotify allegedly retaliating against Apple Music exclusives by 'burying' artist content [u]

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited August 2016
While Apple is buying exclusives to keep music off rival streaming services, its main competitor -- Spotify -- is reportedly firing back by "burying" content from artists who sign those deals.




Artists who debut tracks as Apple Music exclusives are being told they won't get their music on featured Spotify playlists, Bloomberg said on Friday, citing anonymous sources. Moreover, these musicians are said to be finding their songs lower in Spotify's search rankings, potentially impacting the amount of plays -- and hence royalties -- that each track generates.

While one source claimed that Spotify has been using these tactics for about a year, others suggested that the company has intensified its campaign in recent months. The approach is also supposedly being applied to artists with exclusives on Tidal.

An unnamed singer-songwriter allegedly cancelled plans to launch a song on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 show, worried that they would lose promotional backing on Spotify.

The company remains the global leader in on-demand streaming, with over 30 million paid subscribers compared to Apple Music's 15 million. It also has even more people using its free ad-based tier, though it pulls in significantly less revenue from that audience and needs to convert more of it if it intends to turn a profit.

In fact Apple Music is growing fast, and doesn't necessarily need to turn a profit, as it's mainly a way of luring or locking people into Apple's hardware ecosystem. The service is available on Android, but deeply integrated into iOS devices.

Further pressure on Apple's use of exclusives is coming from Universal Music Group, which recently mothballed all exclusives with Apple Music or otherwise. The company is one of the four major international labels, and hence a weak spot in Apple's exclusivity strategy.

Update: In a response to allegations that it buries music from artists who release their work as exclusives on other services, Spotify told Recode that the claims are "unequivocally false."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    It's one thing to not put them on featured or promoted playlists, a bit petty, but not completely crooked.  It's another to tamper with your search algorithms to punish artists you don't like.  To me that's a real crappy move that should be slapped down by public opinion and artist outrage.  
    edited August 2016 jbdragoncaliargonautjay-tDeelronlatifbpanton zuykov
  • Reply 2 of 27
    ...so then will that make those artists even more 'exclusive'...?
    calichiaanthony pattonDeelronlatifbpanton zuykov
  • Reply 3 of 27
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Shitty move.

    Pay the artists table scraps and then bite the hand that feeds you(artists) by feeding them even less scraps.

    Oh yeah, artists are gonna love daddy spotty. 
    jbdragonlostkiwianton zuykov
  • Reply 3 of 27
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,691member
    Can you imagine the outrage if it were Apple doing this?
    jay-tchiabobcat62Deelronteejay2012jbdragoncalilostkiwianton zuykovbadmonk
  • Reply 5 of 27
    Ah, the crybabies at Spotify are showing us all once again how they run their business like 12 year olds.

    First they keep whining to the public about how unfair Apple is with their subscription policies (multiple times), then they whine about their App being rejected when they knew damn well they were going against App Store policies, then they claim Apple is trying to hurt them by requesting higher royalties to be paid and now they're being petty with musicians.

    And people say Apple needs to be better than Spotify to take over? They're already better than those bunch of whiners.
    bobcat62jbdragoncalilostkiwilatifbpanton zuykovbadmonk
  • Reply 6 of 27
    jvmbjvmb Posts: 53member
    Even though Spotify's approach is petty, I really don't like the idea of music streaming services having exclusives. - For TV streaming it is somewhat annoying not to have all content in one app because you need to switch apps and maintain multiple watch lists, but since each show is half an hour and watching TV is something you are actively engaged in it is acceptable. - For games, I'll just skip the games that are on another console. Some people and up buying multiple game consoles for the exclusives. - For music streaming, it only works if all songs that I want to listen to are in one playlist. If each streaming service has exclusives, then we all end up having to subscribe to multiple streaming services and have to switch apps after each song. I'll go back to buying and ripping CDs if that happens.
    anthony pattonlatifbp
  • Reply 7 of 27
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Artist can decide whatever the fuck they do with their product, including exclusive, that's not new at all.
    Getting more money, exclusivity, whatever.
    You know, good ol' capitalism and all that.

    What will happen here is that people won't find artist they want on spotify and small time artists (most) will desert spotify (they're not making money there anyway) and go "exclusive" to Apple and Google or Amazon and Spotify can go punt.

    Spotify is a whiny little bitch about this and deserves to DIE.;
    edited August 2016 jbdragon
  • Reply 8 of 27
    So... when will Congress demand Spotify execs be hauled in to testify on this alleged matter? .... Never? That's what I thought.
    calilostkiwicwingrav
  • Reply 9 of 27
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,092member
    Spotify, don't be evil.

    & how can a totally burnable subscription service "lock" anyone in?
  • Reply 10 of 27
    jvmbjvmb Posts: 53member
    Off course artists can do whatever they want in a free market. The same applies to Spotify, Apple, and Tidal as it is a free market for them as well. However, as a consumer I am allowed to decide whether I support the decisions of these artists and streaming services, and neither exclusive deals nor messing with search are good for the consumer. So as a consumer, I support artists and streaming services who do what is best for the consumer.
  • Reply 11 of 27
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,647member
    If True, it's obviously Apple fault with its monopoly* in streaming music. /s

    *actual monopoly not required for Apple
    SpamSandwichanton zuykovradarthekatbadmonk
  • Reply 12 of 27
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,009member
    It's one thing to not put them on featured or promoted playlists, a bit petty, but not completely crooked.  It's another to tamper with your search algorithms to punish artists you don't like.  To me that's a real crappy move that should be slapped down by public opinion and artist outrage.  
    Except it's apparently not true. Responding to today's story that was based on anonymous sources Spotify says"unequivocally untrue".  At ease soldier. As you were.
    http://www.recode.net/2016/8/26/12663230/spotify-music-artists-exclusive-deals-apple-tidal
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 13 of 27
    So... when will Congress demand Spotify execs be hauled in to testify on this alleged matter? .... Never? That's what I thought.
    Would have to be Swedish congress 
    latifbp
  • Reply 14 of 27
    I have mixed feelings on the topic of exclusives:

    "It's OK"
    ============================
    Seinfeld was exclusive to NBC.  Dexter was exclusive to Showtime. Nobody complained; these were differentiators for the respective companies.  Not a perfect analogy, I realize, but worth considering.

    "It's wrong."
    ============================
    In the traditional "buy an album at the store" days, I could buy a new release from Tower Records or Barnes & Noble.  All content was available from all retailers.  Again, not a perfect analogy.

    It's a gray area, in my eyes.

    latifbp
  • Reply 15 of 27
    I have mixed feelings on the topic of exclusives:

    "It's OK"
    ============================
    Seinfeld was exclusive to NBC.  Dexter was exclusive to Showtime. Nobody complained; these were differentiators for the respective companies.  Not a perfect analogy, I realize, but worth considering.

    "It's wrong."
    ============================
    In the traditional "buy an album at the store" days, I could buy a new release from Tower Records or Barnes & Noble.  All content was available from all retailers.  Again, not a perfect analogy.

    It's a gray area, in my eyes.

    Unless my memory fails, I think certain stations got exclusive rights to play certain records for a period of time before they became generally available. 
    edited August 2016 anton zuykov
  • Reply 16 of 27
    Burying is a strategy Amazon has been employing with authors for a long time. For a variety of reasons they will burying artist/authors who don't willingly participate in their screw jobs. They have cost a lot of writers their livelihood. I don't think Spotify has that power. In fact, I think they are just going to screw themselves with this kind of stuff.
    latifbp
  • Reply 17 of 27
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,553member
    So... when will Congress demand Spotify execs be hauled in to testify on this alleged matter? .... Never? That's what I thought.
    Would have to be Swedish congress 
    When I was a young lad I used to dream of a Swedish congress.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 18 of 27
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,647member
    I have mixed feelings on the topic of exclusives:

    "It's OK"
    ============================
    Seinfeld was exclusive to NBC.  Dexter was exclusive to Showtime. Nobody complained; these were differentiators for the respective companies.  Not a perfect analogy, I realize, but worth considering.

    "It's wrong."
    ============================
    In the traditional "buy an album at the store" days, I could buy a new release from Tower Records or Barnes & Noble.  All content was available from all retailers.  Again, not a perfect analogy.

    It's a gray area, in my eyes.


    There's nothing wrong with exclusives as long as you don't have a monopoly and it's not permanent. 
    Solilatifbp
  • Reply 19 of 27
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,721member
    entropys said:
    So... when will Congress demand Spotify execs be hauled in to testify on this alleged matter? .... Never? That's what I thought.
    Would have to be Swedish congress 
    When I was a young lad I used to dream of a Swedish congress.
    Ha!
  • Reply 20 of 27
    latifbplatifbp Posts: 544member
    jvmb said:
    Even though Spotify's approach is petty, I really don't like the idea of music streaming services having exclusives. - For TV streaming it is somewhat annoying not to have all content in one app because you need to switch apps and maintain multiple watch lists, but since each show is half an hour and watching TV is something you are actively engaged in it is acceptable. - For games, I'll just skip the games that are on another console. Some people and up buying multiple game consoles for the exclusives. - For music streaming, it only works if all songs that I want to listen to are in one playlist. If each streaming service has exclusives, then we all end up having to subscribe to multiple streaming services and have to switch apps after each song. I'll go back to buying and ripping CDs if that happens.
    If Siri can search across services on TV I assume Apple could make a universal  playlist that allows us to save what we want to watch later and link us to whichever service from the list without making us switch apps
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