DMN takes a closer look at the latest competitive moves by music streaming platforms…
Streaming exclusives have become a major strategy adopted by streaming services to bump subscriber numbers. Tidal has bagged Rihanna’s ANTI, Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo, and Beyonce’s Lemonade as exclusives. Just this week, Tidal released 15 Prince albums to mark what would have been the legendary pop icon’s 58th birthday.
Apple Music has also had its fair share of exclusives, with Drake’s Views, and Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book.
But, unlike, Apple Music and Tidal, Spotify hasn’t really dabbled into streaming artist exclusives. In fact, the streaming service previously dubbed long-term exclusives as ‘bad for artists and bad for fans’. That could change with the hiring of Troy Carter, who according to reports, will work on expanding relationships with artists and songwriters with the aim of setting up exclusives for Spotify.
There were also rumors that Spotify entertained discussions with Radiohead over releasing their ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ album as an exclusive to Spotify for premium paying users only. That would have been a big, big bombshell for premium, paid-only streaming (if, that is, the rumor was true).
So Spotify ditched Musixmatch — that little button located next to the play bar on Spotify desktop which once allowed users to access lyrics to the songs they are playing. That feature is no longer available, regardless of the button still being present. It simply doesn’t populate any results.
According to Spotify, the lyrics feature is now unavailable due to ‘big improvements to the feature’, and they promise they will share the ‘updates soon’ with their users. According to one source, that could be a blown-out replacement by Genius, the well-financed, wiki-style lyrics site that got its feet wet in rap.
This week, Pandora announced a partnership with Music Reports, promising 100% reporting transparency. Music Reports will manage the mechanical licensing and royalty administration for Pandora’s upcoming streaming service. With this, Pandora is hoping that this new level of openness for publishers and music makers will set them apart from its competitors.
Spotify reduced the price of its family plan to better compete with major rival, Apple Music. They simply didn’t want to let their family plan stand in the way of being the number one streaming service in the market. Previously, the major benefit of Apple Music, aside from its radio service, was the family plan – the fact that up to 6 users could have full access to the streaming platform for just $14.99 a month.
Indeed, this was a major advantage that the service had over Spotify – whose service used to cost over $30 for up to 5 users.
According to reports, Apple is planning a complete overhaul of its Apple Music streaming service in a bid to gain dominance in the music streaming market. The rumor is that Apple is planning to unveil its major update this month at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), a year after it launched. The decision to make changes to the platform come amidst mixed reviews of the initial launch, with users complaining that the platform falls short of Apple’s high standards.
The news is that there will be changes made to the user interface to make it more user-friendly. There’s also talk regarding plans to integrate its streaming and download businesses.
(Image byJakub T. Jankiewicz, Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic, cc by-sa 2.0)