Apple Music is moving away from album exclusives

Good news for everyone.

Apple Music is moving away from album exclusives, according to an interview with Apple executive Jimmy Iovine in Music Business Worldwide.

Timed exclusives from artists such as Drake and Chance The Rapper has been a key part of the streaming service’s strategy since it launched in 2015, but Iovine indicated labels’ enthusiasm for it had cooled.

“We tried it,” Iovine said. “We’ll still do some stuff with the occasional artist. The labels don’t seem to like it and ultimately it’s their content.”

The Wall Street Journal reported in 2016 that labels had grown wary of exclusives, fearing that timed deals could have an adverse affect on overall streaming figures across all platforms.

Last year, Universal said that it would no longer be giving streaming platforms album exclusives, a move that was rumored to be down to Frank Ocean’s decision to stream Endless and Blonde on Apple Music.

Spotify, which currently has the most subscribers of any streaming platform, last year said that album exclusives on Apple Music and Tidal were “not good for the artist”.

Though Drake’s Views was exclusive to Apple Music on its initial release, he chose to let his recent More Life album arrive on all streaming services on the same day.

Iovine also criticised free streaming tiers in the interview. “The fact is that ‘free’ in music streaming is so technically good and ubiquitous that it’s stunting the growth of paid streaming,” he said.

“Two things have to happen: free has to become more difficult or restricted, and the paid services have to get better”. [via The Verge]

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