Amazon Music has scored an exclusive 3D audio edition of Taylor Swift’s Folklore.
The commercially successful album’s 3D audio iteration became available to Amazon Music HD subscribers today – though they can enjoy the exclusive offering solely via the Echo Studio, which Amazon bills as its “best-sounding smart speaker ever.” Putting this smart speaker’s capabilities to use, the 3D audio version of Folklore will afford listeners “a new, multidimensional audio experience,” per Amazon Music.
The Amazon-owned platform’s nabbing an exclusive Folklore edition (and continuing to push high-definition audio) underscores the ultra-competitive nature of today’s streaming landscape. Spotify’s multimillion-dollar podcasting agreements – including exclusive deals for The Joe Rogan Experience and scripted programs from the DC Comics world, among others – have made more than a few headlines this year.
Additionally, Spotify now supports video podcasts and seems to be looking to establish a foothold in the audiobooks sphere (where Amazon has a strong presence, due in large part to its smart devices and Kindle e-readers). Needless to say, digital music services are rapidly expanding outside of traditional music streaming.
Earlier this month, Digital Music News was first to report that Amazon Music had beaten Spotify to the punch on livestreaming. Furthermore, Amazon Music promised in July to “accelerate artists to the mainstream” through its Breakthrough program.
Also worth highlighting is the slow-but-steady reappearance of streaming exclusives. Though the Big Three labels – led by Universal Music Group – put the kibosh on exclusive albums years back (arguing that they damaged the paid-subscriber marketplace), exclusive streaming content itself has enjoyed something of a resurgence in 2020.
Platform-specific performances, biopics, music videos, and similar media are fair game, as each of the leading streaming services has identified and capitalized upon the workarounds.
To be sure, Taylor Swift is signed to Republic Records, a subsidiary of the same company that spearheaded the initiative to do away with exclusive albums. And with livestreaming having made its way onto Amazon Music, once again, as well as other streaming platforms, it doesn’t look as though the battle for exclusive content will slow down anytime soon. Yesterday, in highlighting SiriusXM’s increased expectations for paid-subscriber additions in 2020, we noted that the satellite radio giant’s streaming service, Pandora, has booked its second livestream gig.
The Killers are scheduled to offer this free set on Pandora Live next Tuesday, September 15th. Country artist Kane Brown kicked off the remote concert series in July.