Spotify Blackballing Frank Ocean’s Latest Album, Blonde

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Frank Ocean’s latest album, Blonde, is now available on Spotify.  But you probably didn’t know that.

On Friday, Frank Ocean’s latest album, Blonde, became available on Spotify.  That followed a multi-week exclusive release period on Apple Music, which might explain why this album is barely being promoted at all on Spotify.  In fact, a lot of potential fans won’t even know it exists.

The development isn’t surprising.  Just last month, a number of unnamed major label executives claimed that Spotify has been intentionally burying Apple Music exclusive releases after they are more widely released, in retaliation for favoring a competitor.  Spotify quickly denied the allegations, though more and more evidence is emerging to support those claims.  That includes a near-burying of Blonde over the weekend.

If you know what you’re looking for, you can find this album.  But Spotify definitely isn’t helping people find Blonde.  Despite being one of the hottest new arrivals on the platform over the weekend, a quick check of the Spotify desktop app found Blonde completely absent from an extensive list of new releases.

In fact, the album somehow didn’t make the list of the 500 top album releases currently available on Spotify, updated on Friday.  Even more glaring is that Blonde is somehow missing from Spotify’s list of 500 new Hip Hop releases.  Frank Ocean is also nowhere to be found on the Spotify’s page dedicated to Hip Hop.

In fact, Ocean isn’t presented at all on the front page, even though Blonde is easily one of the biggest album releases this year.

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The situation grows even more obvious on Spotify’s frontline playlist, ‘New Music Friday’.  Blonde was released on Friday, yet somehow, not one of the tracks from that album are featured in the 60-song playlist.  Instead, Lady Gaga’s ‘Perfect Illusion,’ from the album of the same name, is positioned as the number one track.


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Blonde doesn’t seem to be getting recommended to rap fans, even to those listening to similar artists.  In my case, I’ve been listening to a lot of Chance the Rapper, Desiigner, and Post Malone over the past few weeks.  Perhaps you could argue those aren’t tight enough matches, but that certainly makes me more likely to care about Frank Ocean than someone listening to Coldplay and Lady Gaga all day.

Yet again, not one of the tracks from Blonde found it into the recommended pile (see above).

Any questions?


21 Responses

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Strange that it was released too late, yet the media seemed to have been alerted on time.

      • Anonymous

        The deadlines to submit for those big playlists and placements are weeks in advance. The press only has to be notified that morning.

  1. Fuckyoutimcook

    Good. Fuck Apple and their bullshit. Hopefully this discourages artists from going down that path

  2. Diveta

    I don’t see what the big deal is, I found it on Spotify with no problem and I was not impressed at all. It SUCKS!!!

    • The Truth

      Good jesus its complete garbage. This is what you get when you overhype an artist into believing he can shit out a great album. Its not even listenable.

  3. Rolli

    These lists are not updated per minute but per week – that’s why you will not find the Album on these lists yet.
    What a stupid blog post – anybody has tweeted etc. that the Album is available – probably the most known new Album on Spotify.

  4. FarePlay

    I think it’s pretty obvious that Spotify treats musicians and songwriters with nothing but contempt and oppressive negotiating tactics. There is clearly no respect for creative talent.

    The tech companies appear to have even less understanding of the creative process than the accountants who took over the music business in the nineties. We want what you have and we can’t really pay, because our business model is broken.

    • Anonymous

      How is this any different than in the 90s when, like, Walmart wouldn’t give an endcap to U2 because they had exclusives with Target? Why should any service or retailer feature products that clearly give preference to other services or retailers?

  5. Rudy

    …or maybe it’s not on the new music friday because it isn’t new anymore? This album came out on August 20th. Just cause it’s new to Spotify doesn’t make it a new release. All major music publications have advertised the fact that Blonde is now available on spotify and many of the blacklisting allegations made against spotify have already been debunked.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Maybe that’s the explanation.

      But, somehow I have a problem believing that Blonde — and any of its tracks — shouldn’t be included in ANY new release, new song, or hip hop listings on Spotify.

  6. josh

    it was released too late to qualify for any charts, lmao. the playlist is updated at 3 am est, blonde wasn’t released till nearly 12pm on Friday.

  7. Anonymous

    This album dropped awhile ago. You could argue that Beyonce lemonade album is being blacklisted by Spotify too but then you’d just not be in the know. Sometimes there’s a lot more going on then just albums not getting on Spotify lists or even being available. This blog was about as much of a waste of my time as writing this is. Thanks

    • Anonymous

      Oh and ps try looking up any of his other albums on Spotify. Derh where is lonny beaux or untitled, misc. They must be “blacklisted” it’s because of record deals and recording contracts etc. Spotify isn’t blacklisting him it’s the other way around moron

  8. Grimm

    The album is trash anyway, biggest dissapointment in an R&B album since the PARTYNEXTDOOR album. These dudes all really trying to be different, end up sounding like garbage. Stop TRYING to be different…

  9. Hayes hedge

    It’s not a hip hop or rap album. That’s why it’s not in that genre.