One of the methods that Apple Music and Tidal have adopted to compete against Spotify is to obtain exclusive releases from some of the biggest names in the industry. Spotify hasn’t really been focusing on exclusives which is why the strategy appears to be working for its rivals. A report has been published which suggests that Spotify is punishing artists who provide exclusives to Apple Music and Tidal by burying their music in its search results. Spotify has responded to the accusations.
The report in Bloomberg quoted anonymous sources as saying that Spotify is burying music from artists that are providing exclusives to rivals. Spotify says that this accusation is “unequivocally false.”
It wouldn’t make sense for Spotify to bury music from the likes of Drake and Kanye West – both of them have exclusively released new music on Apple Music and Tidal before bringing to Spotify – but its subscribers certainly wouldn’t like if they were not able to find the music they want to listen, particularly when they are paying the company for a premium subscription.
Spotify hasn’t responded to another claim made in other reports including one from the New York Times that it’s not going out of its way to promote new releases from artists that are providing exclusives to its rivals.
Now that seems plausible given that Spotify would want to signal to artists that they shouldn’t be giving exclusive releases to one particular streaming service against incentives like marketing support, cash, and perhaps even equity.
Whether or not artists will listen is an entirely different matter.