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Spotify Hits Musicians Where It Hurts, For Dealing Exclusively With Apple Music

Music streaming is suddenly a big business and Apple being Apple they want to dominate the streaming industry, however Spotify has decided to hit back by deliberately punishing artists who’re offering exclusive content to Apple Music, as a result Apple is not happy.

Streaming is now the recorded-music industry’s biggest revenue source, surpassing downloads and CDs at the end of 2015, according to the Recording Industry Association. As of June 30, 36% of music sales reported to Nielsen are from streaming, up from 20% last year and far bigger than the 26% from physical albums and 20% from digital downloads.

The problem for Apple is that the Swedish company Spotify is the world’s largest streaming company and the fact that they are withholding as well as not promoting acts as already caught the attention of several performing artists.

What this means is that once the period of exclusivity ends, Spotify are less likely to include it within playlists or the album prominently feature it within listings; effectively limiting visibility.

A report in the Wall Street Journal says: “Executives at two major record labels said that in recent weeks Spotify, which has resisted exclusives, had told them that it had instituted a policy that music that had benefited from such deals on other services would not receive the same level of promotion once it arrived on Spotify; such music may not be as prominently featured or included in as many playlists, said these executives, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss private negotiations.”

Spotify has declined to comment on the report, which comes during a week when streaming exclusives have been making headlines.

The boss of the industry leading Universal Music Group (UMG) Lucian Grainge has reportedly banned the practice among the company’s labels.

This came in response to the negative reaction to Frank Ocean’s new album Blonde, arriving as an Apple Music exclusive seemingly without gaining permission from Universal.

Last year, overall music sales and streams in the US alone grew more than 15% to nearly 550 million albums from around 475 million in 2014—a huge leap in a single year—thanks to over 317 billion songs streamed on-demand.

Drake’s latest album “Views” is the streaming age’s first summer blockbuster, setting a record with two billion on-demand audio streams since its release April 29. Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo” became the first record to hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart, largely due to streaming in April. In May, Chance the Rapper’s “Colouring Book”—a streaming-only release—became the first release to appear on the chart that was not available to download or buy in retail stores.

The Wall Street Journal said that fans who pay $10 a month for a subscription to Spotify or Apple Music listen to music a full 27 hours a week. That’s three hours more a week than those who listen free on You Tube and Spotify’s ad-supported site and more than double the amount non-streamers listen, says Russ Crupnick of market-research firm MusicWatch.

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