Not too long ago, when artists would announce the release date for their new album, fans would take the time out of their day to make their way over to the nearest store to purchase their favorite artist's latest release. Now with various streaming services offerings millions of songs at the touch of a button, the motivation to actually pay for music has almost completely diminished. But it appears labels and artists are teaming up with these same streaming platforms to create a new solution.
Music labels have finally accepted that they can't really expect listeners to buy songs or albums on iTunes, Amazon, or in a store when everything is practically available for free online. Streaming services have been great for music lovers, but not as much for the artists looking to profit from the music they've created. However, it seems Spotify and Universal Music Group (UMG) have come up with plan that could cause a major shift.
In recent years, fans have been able to immediately listen to a new release as soon as the clock strikes midnight in their time zone. But Spotify recently signed a deal with UMG that could allow the music label to choose to delay the release of specific albums for two whole weeks. This hold would only occur for Spotify users still enjoying the platform for free—thus, encouraging more people to pay for subscriptions which would generate more revenue for artists and labels.
"We know that not every album by every artist should be released the same way, and we've worked hard with UMG to develop a new, flexible release policy," Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said in a statement. "Starting today, Universal artists can choose to release new albums on premium only for two weeks, offering subscribers an earlier chance to explore the complete creative work, while the singles are available across Spotify for all our listeners to enjoy.”
Fans have already grown tired of artists releasing content exclusively to Tidal or Apple Music, so it will be interesting to see how this unfolds. Soon music fans may have to choose between paying for their favorite platform, or giving in and paying for them all.