Spotify secretly punishes artists with Tidal, Apple Music exclusives?

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The battle between the music streaming services continues to intensify, particularly with regards to Apple Music and Spotify. In the latest report, the latter has supposedly taken to penalizing those signed to special deals with rivals. According to Bloomberg, Spotify is burying search results within its service of artists tied to new music exclusivity arrangements with Apple Music and Tidal. Once these musicians eventually bring their tunes to the Spotify fold, the Swedish company is apparently retaliating by rejecting said music from featured playlists. 

Taylor Swift, whose famed '1989' album is perhaps the most well-documented, glaring gap within Spotify's repertoire, is one such artist whose search rankings might secretly have been negatively adjusted as a result of her allegiances to Apple. The source of Bloomberg's report indicates that Spotify's search-altering practises have been in force through the past year, though have intensified of late — presumably exacerbated by the growing sense of animosity between Spotify and Apple.

It's unclear whether Swift, or any other popular artist for that matter, has been directly affected by this. But the source indicates that even lesser-recognizable acts may feel Spotify's wrath if caught cosying up to Apple. Indeed, relatively unknown artists premiering their songs on Apple's Beats One radio show might have their content stifled on Spotify, according to those familiar. 

The furore comes at a critical time for Spotify, and not just because Apple Music or rapper Jay Z's Tidal service loom large. Spotify's ad-supported free service has long rubbed the music industry up the wrong way, and is the reason why Swift and others have pulled some of their catalogs from Spotify. Labels want Spotify to allow artists to release music exclusively to paying customers, while in turn, the company maintains that a free service with plenty of content is required to lure customers in the first place. 

The fact that Spotify also operates at a significant loss leaves it in quite the predicament. The firm is said to have a number of long-term contracts on the table with major labels, though many have yet to be signed due largely to Spotify's free tier. With over 100 million users but scarcely one-third actually paying, Spotify will need a better conversion rate to keep the industry onside and, indeed, stay afloat long-term. 

If true, do you think Spotify is just in retaliating against artists with exclusives elsewhere? Be sure to have your say in the comments below.

source: Bloomberg

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27 Comments

1. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Good for the artist, punishing fans by forcing them to subscribe to another music service for certain tracks instead of making their work universally available...

17. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

It seems to me like Spotify cannot handle the shifting industry standards and competition. They always want to do things in their way.

21. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

They simply can't handle supporting artists who prioritize their competition over them, aka screwing them. "They always want to do things in their way." Which company doesn't? Let's see the name of this company that proudly plays by the rules of its competitors...

2. Nopers unregistered

Accuses Apple of being anticompetitive and starts hitting out at artists that launch exclusives on other streaming platforms. Oh well done Spotify.

3. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Last time I checked, Spotify doesn't compete with artists. Artists that chose to be unfair, get unfair treatment, simple.

4. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

And if apple does it? It's ok, right? Nice one.

8. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

If the artists are being unfair to them, yes it's fine for them to do it too.

9. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

No point bro, the guy keeps a webpage full of Apple hate articles loaded in his chrome tabs. He isn't the kind of dude you can have a reasonable discussion with......trust me.

11. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Says the hypocrite who immensely cries for ignorance when his divine apple is being criticized...very trust worthy.

12. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

See what I mean? Completely irrational.......

13. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Im used to that. Phonearena is filled with it.

14. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Deleted

27. k4ever

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 08, 2014

Yet on this point, he is right. There should be no exclusive deals with music services. If artists wants to reach a larger pool of fans, quit doing these stupid, anti-competitive, exclusive deals. This wasn't a problem **before** Apple Music. So yes, Apple is responsible for this -- led by the Taylor Swift deal. Personally, I don't feel for artists who decry anti-competitiveness when they themselves are being anti-competitive. In real life you can have it both ways. Good on Spotify for putting pressure on them. BTW, I remember a certain company, named after a fruit, who took on the anti-competitive/DRM laden of the music industry for the good of that company's customers. By doing so, that company darn near created the digital music industry. It is totally hypocritical today of that company, and its fanatical defenders, to lead the charge of anti-competitiveness in the streaming music industry (by having exclusive deals) simply because that company is quickly becoming irrelevant in the music and tech industry.

5. bucky

Posts: 3794; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

I wonder if you said the same with Apple.

10. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

How was apple being treated unfair? Do share...

18. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Bro I get what you are saying but what Spotify is doing is wrong, I get that things aren't always fair but burying search results just to get back at an artist for having deals with Apple music and Tidal is petty as hell.

20. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

If what spotify is doing is wrong, then so is what the artist is doing. They're making Spotify less relevant compared to its competition, Spotify chooses to make them less relevant compared to their competition. Two wrongs don't make a right, but that's between Spotify and the Artists to settle.

26. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

The artist is just making money man, they aren't bashing spotify on twitter or anything or ruining their rep lol.

6. Fona13A unregistered

Exclusives are overrated.

15. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yep, just buy/pirate them and upload load them to Spotify or GPM

7. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Hold it......wait a minute. Spotify, the company that complained about Apple's method of engagement, happens to intentionally positioning exclusive track on the back burner out of spite? Hahaha XD.......this company may have a year or two left on this planet. I mean, how petty can one company be? And to have the balls to disregard their customers in such a brazen manner.........it's like they want to lose :D.

16. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2475; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

If Spotify gets rid of its free tier, then people will be forced to go back to the good old days of pirating and streaming from YouTube. At least with the ads, Spotify is offering some kind of compensation. And, seriously, does anyone believe someone like Taylor Swift is hurting for cash because of corporations like Spotify? Last time I checked she has her own private jet and a multi million dollar home.

23. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I'm all for compensating artists, but the ones with the biggest cash load are the ones complaining the loudest.

19. lyndon420

Posts: 6861; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

I don't understand why so many people refuse to pay for their music. Oh wait...I know why...because ms made ripping CD's a reality, and in essence gave the finger to the music industry - which apple exploited further with their iPod's. Before that happened, $10 - $13 CD's and radio were our options, and now most people won't pay $9.99 / month for all the music they can handle... pathetic.

24. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

This is good news for Pandora. To h**l with Spotify.

25. steodoreben

Posts: 379; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

Who needs Taylor Swift? I don't like her. She's annoying.

28. kudus

Posts: 52; Member since: Oct 23, 2014

fakkkkk you Taylor Swift snake!

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