The end of the year is great for a little self-reflection. Personally, I’m wondering about ways I can be a more gracious roommate; Spotify appears to be backtracking from their anti-exclusive stance. Digital Music News noted the hypocrisy of Spotify’s anti-exclusive music stance compared to Apple and Tidal, who tried to pull in listeners with exclusive releases. Troy Carter, the global head of creator services at Spotify, told Variety earlier this year:
Exclusive audio content, specifically with albums, is not within our playbook. I think people have learned over the last six months that it’s bad for the music industry, it’s not that great for artists because they can’t reach the widest possible audience, and it’s terrible for consumers. If you wake up in the morning and your favorite artist isn’t on the service that you’re paying ten dollars a month for, sooner or later you lose faith in the subscription model.
Today, Spotify announced a 19 song Christmas playlist (Spotify Singles: Christmas) that features exclusive covers by artists like Miley Cyrus, DMX, and Sam Smith. Now does this mean I’m going to start losing faith in the subscription model, because Spotify paid for an exclusive cover of DMX performing “Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer?” Perhaps.
Spotify’s flip-flopped to a degree on exclusives before, because, in 2013, they got the Led Zeppelin catalogue exclusively for their service. I guess exclusives are bad only when other companies do them? That may also explain why labels and artists fear dong exclusives, because they know there is a risk Spotify will blackball future content. Capitalism is great y’all. Either way don’t listen to these Christmas covers, because it may undermine their entire business model.