Why Is Daft Punk Streaming on iTunes, But Not Spotify?

Spotify says there’s absolutely no evidence that streaming lowers download sales.  Then why are some of the biggest artists in the world still withholding their latest releases from Spotify and other streaming services, right now?  Or, in the case of Daft Punk, giving it to iTunes first to better promote download sales?

But wait: Daft Punk’s latest album, Random Access Memories, isn’t officially out until May 21st, right?  Then again, if you’re streaming it right now, on iTunes instead of Spotify, what’s the difference?




(Oh, there’s another question worth asking: why did Grooveshark have this entire album more than a week before official release, anyway?)

46 Responses

  1. GGG

    Grooveshark probably had it because it leaked and people just throw it up there.

    As for iTunes vs. Spotify, maybe iTunes pays for the exclusive streaming? That or artists hope it will entice people to click pre-order, which probably works to some extent but not some huge amount.

    • Visitor

      I would guess apple is giving up nothing more than setting up the early preorder and streaming.

      And the album preorders will count towards first week sales since it’s a stream and the actual delivery of the digital album won’t take place until street date.

      • GGG

        Yea, I mean, it doesn’t make much sense for apple to buy exclusivity unless they are experimenting for something or just want to for the hell of it to say fuck you to spotify.

  2. Soniquarium Muzika

    There are only two places my label will sell. Beatport and Itunes. Streaming on Itunes has far more exposure world wide that the Spotify. Both sites signed directly with my label and 90% plus of proceeds go to the label in sales. Spotify can’t compete with Itunes Streaming and Apple.

    Google Music just sent my label a email. They are trying to break in to the game again, after the Google Store pretty much failed.

    But, when it comes to nut cutting time, it’s up to the individual, label, artist to choose their store to sell music. That is the beauty of “Choice” in Capitlism.

    • Visitor

      Well, i would say it depends on where you are based.. If its in the US sure.. But it looks a bit different in Europe!

    • Casey

      Google Play hasn’t failed, it is just fighting an uphill battle. Apple is losing music download marketshare. Slowly, but surely. Amazon is gaining the most at the moment.

  3. marsiano e.

    he target is different, iTunes and Mac users are much better customers than Spotify or Grooveshark users, I presume, so they are well worth being targeted first and rewarded with exclusive access to the preview.

    by streaming and pre-selling the whole album, they are hoping to maximize sales thanks to impulse purchases, avoiding cherry-pickers as much as possible.

    personally, I’d like to cherry-pick “get lucky”, if they won’t allow me to do so, I will download it somewhere else, but I’m aware that I’m not their target customer anyway.

  4. Visitor

    “But, if you’re streaming it right now, on iTunes instead of Spotify, what’s the difference?”

    Let’s see, would you rather invest your time, talent and cash in Spotify or Apple?

    Read this week’s news before you answer:

    “The interesting thing, Dediu notes, is that [iTunes] growth has been steady at 29% each quarter. This is happening despite the competitive environment where Netflix, Spotify, Google, and Amazon are all trying to chip away at Apple’s iTunes franchise in one way or another.

    Another fun thing about Apple’s iTunes business: It’s huge. On an annual basis, it’s bigger than Yahoo, Facebook, and Netflix combined.”


    Besides, many artists just like Apple (for lots of reasons, too)…

  5. @billboardglen

    The answer should be (really, really) obvious: download sales.

  6. HansH

    European Release on Spotify is today.

    Now let’s see how many streams this is going to produce. Here is a snapshot of the situation right here right now:

    23M+ streams for Get Lucky already.

    • Visitor

      “23M+ streams for Get Lucky already.”

      OK, that’s obviously not half bad. Almost as much as the most viewed YouTube version. Perhaps because it’s a Euro band.

      But how does YouTube and Spotify generally compare these days in terms of views? How many Spotify streams does a top act usually get these days?

      100M is standard on YouTube:


      • GGG

        Huge hits have hit the 100M stream mark in Spotify but it’s probably happened much, much less than on YouTube, and it also takes a longer amount of time.

        Which I think is probably because of lack of sharing. People still for the most part share youtube links, not spotify links. Plus you don’t have to install youtube, you can just go.

        • Visitor

          “Plus you don’t have to install youtube, you can just go.”

          Now, that sounds plausible.

          So, why is Spotify so complicated?

          Why not just copy YouTube, minus the videos? At least for the free version?

          • GGG

            Well, they actually have an HTML link you can set up, but I think you still need to have Spotify installed, I’m not sure. If it plays via the web regardless, than that point of mine is moot. I don’t feel like unistalling Spotify to test it out, though.

  7. HansH

    I haven found a 100M streams hit yet. Even Gangnam Style has 82M streams.

    /Edit Found one. Macklemore – Thrift Shop 105M plays.

    Take in mind that Spotify is available in a limited set of countries unlike YouTube.

    People don’t share Spotifylinks? Don’t forget that most share every play on Facebook.

    • GGG

      Yea, JW on another thread said there were a couple. I doubt it’s very many, though.

      The difference is passive sharing vs active. Seeing someone listened to Daft Punk on your scrolling newsfeed is much different from your friend posting a Daft Punk link, I think.

      • Patriq

        Well, you can doubt how much you want to, GGG.

        In countries were Spotify is popular, you sometimes don’t see much else in your feeds, than Spotify playlists. In fact so much, that other streaming services have a hard time getting any free visibility in the same way.

  8. HansH

    Found more interesting stuff:

    1.Daft Punk ‘Get Lucky’

    22.5m Spotify streams/ 25m YouTube views

    2.Macklemore and Lewis ‘Can’t Hold Us’

    55m Spotify streams/ 29m YouTube views

    3.Macklemore and Lewis ‘Thrift Shop’

    103m Spotify streams/ 304m YouTube views

    4.P!NK ‘Just Give Me a Reason’

    40m Spotify streams/ 106m YouTube views

    5.Will.I.Am ‘#That Power’

    14m Spotify streams/ 25m YouTube views (Scream and Shout is his biggest track 76m Spotify streams)

    6.Bruno Mars ‘When I was Your Man’

    37m Spotify streams/ 74m YouTube views (5 tracks with over 25m Spotify streams)

    7.Calvin Harris ‘I Need Your Love’

    18m Spotify streams/ 17m YouTube views (6 tracks with over 15m Spotify streams)

    8.Justin Timberlake ‘Mirrors’

    32m Spotify streams/43m YouTube views (Cry me a river has 10m Spotify streams)

    9.PSY ‘Gentleman’

    9m Spotify streams/330m YouTube views (Gangnam Style has 82m Spotify streams)

    10.Pitbull ‘Feel This Moment’

    30.5m Spotify streams/47m YouTube streams ( 6 tracks over 14m Spotify streams)


  9. Visitor

    … also, Hans — I assume most views come from free accounts. What’s the going rate again?

    I’m sure you have the exact numbers. 🙂

    • HansH

      No way of knowing what the ratio free/unlimited/premium is, at least for me. Maybe Yves V knows?

      The going rate is $.005 per stream on average.

      • Yves Villeneuve

        One is for sure, Spotify is overstating its active Freemium subscribers. More like Freemium subs equal 25% of total active or paid subscribers. Meaning, if Spotify has 4 million Paid subscribers, it only has 1.33 million active Freemium subscribers.

        Yes you are correct, 23 million Spotify streams is roughly $135,000.

        23 million Rhapsody streams is roughly $230,000.

        • Visitor

          “23 million Spotify streams is roughly $135,000.”

          Do you or Hans have reliable sources for these numbers?

          I don’t doubt them, they are just different from figures I keep hearing (.0008 per stream).

          And that difference might make a, um, difference if 20M streams were a realistic possibility.

          But then again, I don’t understand how a song can reach 20M streams that fast when Spotify has 25M registered users.

          Especially, if only 30% of these users are active like this article suggests:


          • Yves Villeneuve

            .0008 is roughly the Freemium rate for Indies. Major labels get much more over .001.

            Active subscribers are much less than 30% of registered users. More like 10% or 11% if the average stream rate is roughly .005

            My data is based on SteveH’s label streams makeup of 17000 streams per month where only 25% of his streams are Freemium and his average stream rate is .006

          • Visitor

            Thank you for your explanation, Yves. Now it makes sense.

          • HansH

            I have published a few actual Royalty Statements to back up these figures. http://www.spotidj.com/spotifyroyalties.htm

            There are no fixed rates. Rates vary from as low as $.0004 to as hig as $.0170. It all depends on the tier and the country of the listener.

            If someone says the rate is $.0008 he’s right but that’s just one of many rates.

            BTW It took a few weeks to reach the 23 million streams. Not unlikely IMHO

    • abw

      so 23M streams – that’d equal $25.00 USD in royalites for Daft Punk then?


  10. David

    Not for the first time I wonder if we can believe some of Spotify’s figures. (Remember that not-very-famous Swedish artist who was allegedly making $20,000 a month from Spotify streams?)

    Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ is getting about 1 million plays a day on YouTube. So how is it getting over 20 times as many on European Spotify, with a much smaller user base? It doesn’t make sense.

    • GGG

      Maybe their record label makes every employee create a repeating 100 song playlist of only Get Lucky.

    • HansH

      Ah you mean Jonathan Johansson. Nice of you to bring that up.

      I have checked his stats to see if it adds up.

      His 10 most popular songs have been streamed 10,243,417 times in total. That’s good for $51,217.

      He was making $20,000 during the first month after the release of his new album. So not $20,000 a month.


      Could be the info was correct. It makes sense.

      BTW the single get lucky was released on Spotify a few weeks ago.

    • Pablo

      European Spotify Users are paid subscribers thus generating big revenues…!

      It’s not only volume, most of the US users in Spotify are “free” or ghost users, which means never logged in after the end of the free period or never auto opt in into a tariff!

  11. Pablo

    It’s called exclusivity!

    Itunes remain number one digital store with highest revenues!

  12. Cliff Baldwin

    ITunes has $4 billion in sales. Streaming there promotes the album in 119 countries simultaneously and generates actual sales, at a profit, for both the label and artist. It isn’t complicated people.

  13. Jonathan

    FYI the French streaming and download service QOBUZ do propose the album in LossLess streaming AND HD 24 Bits / 88,2 kHz downloads.

    You should be Guys interested in it, it is for me the highest quality music service in the world today, and they will open soon outside France they say.

    You should consider them in your debnates regarding teh evonomic model of streaming as they propose LossLess subscriptions at a higher price, and it works wonderfully (for exemple through Sonos)

    • Casey

      Lossless streaming is a niche market at best. It is impractical on mobile devices using 3G or capped 4G. Businesses will block any lossless service that becomes popular among employees to protect their networks. Even on home connections it will have limited uptake in areas where DSL still dominates or users have data caps.

      • HansH

        True, but it is great for Sonos and all devices that can be connected to a HiFi receiver. Interesting service.

        But 29 Euros a month?

  14. Champion

    Paul is killing it with the red arrows and Spotify hit-pieces lately. Nice work.

  15. robin

    daft punk marketing personnels put it on spotify late.


  16. Andrew

    First and foremost, artists dislike streaming services because they receive little to no payment for plays; streaming services are still young and very poorly regulated. Lady Gaga received what, a penny, for a million plays? By streaming for free on a pay site prior to release, I think people are more likely to return to that same website if and when they wish to buy the album or their favorite tracks.


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