Pink Floyd are getting ready to smash the bricks in the wall* between the band and streaming music services, starting with Spotify.
The band have made the 2011 remastered edition of their ‘Wish You Were Here’ track available on the service, and tweeted to fans that when it’s been streamed more than 1m times, the catalogue will be unlocked.
It’s the first time we’ve seen this kind of stream-to-unlock approach to making a band’s catalogue available on a streaming service.
Is it an exclusive for Spotify? Yes and no.
— Pink Floyd (@pinkfloyd) June 13, 2013
Music Ally understands that the Pink Floyd catalogue has been available on subscription-only streaming services before, so it’s not exclusive in that sense, although it does appear to be the first time in a while it’s also been available on a free (legal) service.
In a while? Yes. In February 2012, Pink Floyd manager Paul Loasby told a music industry conference that the band’s catalogue had been available on ad-supported streaming services in 2007/08, before Spotify.
“We did 14 million streams. Of those, we earned just over five figures,” he said in 2012. “When it came to renewing our deal with EMI, we decided we did not want to go with ad-funded but agreed to go on subscription ones (only). But, when we went to Spotify’s office in 2010, we were declined – it was all or nothing.”
Loasby also said at the time that he felt music was “undervalued” on streaming services. “The rightsholders, in my opinion, have sold it too cheaply. I would like to see the money paid to artists dramatically increase,” he said. In the last year and a half, he’s presumably been convinced that Pink Floyd can expect better revenues from streams.
We’ll be interested to see how soon rivals like Deezer and Rdio get a crack at the Floyd too, in that sense. Tomahawk’s Jason Herskowitz wrote a very good Billboard op-ed piece earlier this year on why exclusive streaming deals could do more harm than good in the longer term.
In the meantime, watch to see how quickly the 1m total is hit for ‘Wish You Were Here’. And, once the whole catalogue is available, watch Pink Floyd’s Spotify profile to see just how popular it is.
*puts away crowbar