While big-name streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify, and iHeartRadio offer massive catalogs with track numbers in the tens of millions, there are some acts that simply aren’t happy with the idea of their work being available for such low costs (or for free entirely). Some performers are willing to give their work to one company or a handful, but not all, while others don’t want anything to do with the changing industry whatsoever. A few famous musicians are coming around to the idea—AC/DC for example, who just this week added their catalog to Spotify and a few other outlets—but it will take some time for these singers and groups to welcome every player.
The current queen of pop radio hits has been very public about her feelings regarding the free tiers that have made many streaming sites so popular. Last year, she penned a letter discussing why she was removing her catalog from Spotify, saying she wasn’t willing to give her life’s work to what she called “an experiment”. She wrote a similar missive before Apple Music launched, explaining that her latest album, 1989, wouldn’t be on the site unless the tech giant changed their ways. Less than a day later, the company stated that they’d decided to pay artists, and Taylor responded by allowing her album to be streamed.
Until last night, Prince’s work wasn’t available on most services, but Spotify did have a few albums. Now, the only service that features the rocker’s catalog is Tidal, which he is clearly a fan of. Earlier this year he streamed a very special concert for a torn-apart Baltimore exclusively on the Jay Z-owned streaming platform.
The best-selling albums artist of the Soundscan era (when record sales started being tracked with much better accuracy) is pretty much against almost every form of consuming music online, including iTunes. Sure, he’s sold more albums than a handful of the biggest pop stars combined, but these days, his music is tough to access. The only place where it’s easy (relatively) to buy his catalog is on his own digital store, GhostTunes, which launched last year.
The legendary rocker is keeping much of his content off the internet, holding it back from streaming sites and even iTunes (a few records are available, but not all). He has found incredible success in his earlier years, and it seems like he’s willing to sit back and wait to see how much artists get paid go up before he offers his music through many outlets.
Another country star who isn’t happy with Spotify. After Taylor Swift paved the way for acts to remove their fruit of their labors from the world’s streaming site, Jason followed suit. Always the passive aggressive one in the struggle, Spotify now has a notice up when you visit Aldean’s page that simply says “The artist or their representatives have decided not to release this album on Spotify just yet. We’re working on it, and hope we can change their minds soon.”
The fab four still sell incredibly well, so they don’t really need to put their catalogs onto platforms like Spotify. The Beatles will likely one day find their way onto one of the streaming platforms (or all of them), and when they do, it will be a huge day for the industry. It’s likely that big players like Apple and Spotify have lobbied their representatives for access, but so far, to no avail.
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