In 2011, metal label group Century Media pulled its catalogue from Spotify claiming the streaming service “isn’t the way forward”. Fast forward to 2013, and Century has launched its very own Spotify app.

It’s part of a wider burst of activity around metal music on the streaming service. Last week, we reported on the early success of metal label Earache Records’ Spotify app. Now it’s been joined by Century’s app, and also a new Spotify app from Metal Hammer magazine.

The latter offers playlists based on bands, themes and editor’s picks, as well as spotlighting hot tracks. “The way that metal fans connect with music may be changing, but their passion for it never has,” says editor Alexander Milas.

Meanwhile, Century Media’s Metal of the Century Spotify app has playlists from artists, and individual sections for each of its labels to spotlight new releases, news stories and tour dates.

It’s a fascinating turnaround given the label group’s history with Spotify. In August 2011, the label group pulled its catalogue from the streaming music service, declaring that it would only use Spotify for cut-down samplers of artists.

“Spotify in its present shape and form isn’t the way forward,” said its statement at the time. “The income streams to the artists are affected massively and therefore that accelerates the downward spiral, which eventually will lead to artists not being able to record music the way it should be recorded. Ultimately, in some cases, it will completely kill a lot of smaller bands that are already struggling to make ends meet.”

Century Media returned the catalogue to Spotify in July 2012 though, saying at the time that “We respect that music fans wanted to have instant access to our catalog via Spotify, but we also have to consider the rights of our artists. After practicing some due diligence, we’re moving ahead confident that both the artist and the fan are being fairly served by this developing platform.”

To see the company now launching its own Spotify app is another feather in the streaming service’s cap, as it tries to win over other doubters in the label and artist/manager communities.

And it’s also credit to Century Media for its willingness to take action on behalf of its artists, to change course when it felt the time was right, and then to explore new opportunities on the service.

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