Spotify Considers Release of Music To Paid-Tier Only

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Spotify is considering allowing some artists to release new music only to the service’s 20 million-plus paid subscribers, while withholding the music temporarily from Spotify’s 80 million free-tier users, the Wall Street Journal reports. The outlet also reports that Spotify will test the new “windowed” approach to determine how it affects usage and subscriptions. Decisions as to which artist(s) will be able to withhold music from Spotify’s free service first have not been determined.

Users of Spotify’s free service are allowed to select albums and/or playlists, though the songs’ play order is shuffled. Subscribers, on the other hand, are allowed unlimited, on-demand access to Spotify’s catalog, which contains more than 30 million songs.

In late 2014, Taylor Swift initially pulled her best-selling album 1989 from Spotify, to protest the service’s mandate that artists’ music must be made available to both Spotify’s paying subscribers as well as free users. She later pulled her entire catalog from the service. However, Swift left other albums on subscription-only streaming services including Rdio, Rhapsody and Beats (Apple relaunched Beats as Apple Music this year).

Other artists have followed Swift. Adele‘s album 25 was withheld from Spotify and other streaming services; the move likely helped the British singer-songwriter sell more than 4.5 million copies of 25 in its first two weeks of release.

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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