CNN Money: The Streaming Music War Is Getting Ugly
September 6, 2016 at 3:44 AM (PT)
Not everything is hunky-dory for streaming music services, writes SETH FIEGERMAN in CNN MONEY. He points to the recent APPLE MUSIC exclusive for FRANK OCEAN's latest release. CNN MONEY notes, "some listeners were upset to learn it was only streaming on APPLE MUSIC. 'You're tellin me I switched to TIDAL & FRANK gotta go and drop an album exclusively for APPLE MUSIC?' one person tweeted. 'I do not have time for you FRANK OCEAN'. OCEAN's release was just the latest example of tech companies vying for exclusives on new albums in a bid to attract customers. It's a tactic that has become more common over the last 18 months as streaming services try to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive and combative market."
Two weeks ago (NET NEWS 8/26), ALL ACCESS reported that SPOTIFY had denied a BLOOMBERG NEWS story that it had been retaliating against musicians who give exclusives to APPLE MUSIC. People "familiar with the strategy" told BLOOMBERG that SPOTIFY had been making the songs of artists who offer APPLE MUSIC exclusives harder to find on their site, and that artists had been told they won’t be able to get their tracks on featured playlists once the songs become available on SPOTIFY.
CNN MONEY notes, "APPLE MUSIC, built on top of the company's $3 billion purchase of BEATS, and TIDAL, the service owned by JAY Z, have been the most aggressive in signing up exclusives. These include OCEAN, DRAKE and TAYLOR SWIFT for APPLE and PRINCE, BEYONCE and KANYE WEST for TIDAL."
The report points out that, "the streaming market was dominated by SPOTIFY and smaller services of varying legality, with less headbutting over exclusive deals. 'That was a really good period. You didn't have to worry about who you were offending,' said TED COHEN, Managing Partner at TAG STRATEGIC and a former music exec who worked at EMI. 'Now it's getting territorial again'."