Updated, 9 am PCT Friday: Spotify has now also confirmed the Black Keys decision to Bloomberg, though the company offered few additional details.
Other major media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter are confirming our original story. This confirmation from Rdio was first published Thursday afternoon; stay tuned for ongoing updates.
Rdio is now confirming what sources have been telling Digital Music News for days. The Black Keys are indeed making a deliberate decision not to license their latest album to any of the streaming services, most notably Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, and MOG. “At this point no streaming service will be offering the album,” an Rdio representative emailed us last night.
Shortly after the Rdio email, Spotify also confirmed the band’s decision to Bloomberg, while offering few additional details. Many are assuming that this is part of a windowing strategy, one that would see services like Spotify uploading the album at a later date. But that is not confirmed at this stage, and neither offered any details on a future arrival date. The album, El Camino, officially hit the iTunes Store, Amazon MP3, and other outlets on December 6th, with only the teaser single, “Lonely Boy,” available on streaming services.
There’s also been a ‘situation’ at MOG. On the morning of the 6th, MOG actually had the album available for its users and subscribers, though it quickly disappeared. Now, it turns out that MOG was instructed to take it down. That was confirmed by this customer service response, posted by a Digital Music News reader.
That ‘content owner’ seems likely to be Q Prime Management, not Warner Bros. Records, according to our sources. At this stage, it appears that Q Prime has decided that platforms like Spotify do not make sense for their artists, at least on frontline releases. That is certainly the case with Q Prime client the Red Hot Chili Peppers, whose later releases – including Californication and Stadium Arcadium – are also not available on Spotify.
Instead, Spotify users can only access a sampling of older releases from the 80s and early 90s, including classics like Mother’s Milk and The Uplift Mofo Party Plan. But Stadium Arcadium came out in 2006, and Californication in 1999, a dateline that raises questions about any Black Keys windowing plans.
Warner Music Group has yet to offer any response.