It’s been clear for some time that we’re about to enter a battle royale for streaming exclusives, with Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and other rivals scrapping for (at least) early access to key songs and albums by major artists. Debate about whether this will be good or bad for the wider music industry continues, with Google Play Music exec (and previously Songza founder) Elias Roman aligning himself with the ‘bad’ camp.
“The opportunity is how do we make subscription a mainstream thing,” he told Time for a feature on streaming exclusives. “If people pay 10 bucks a month for service A and it doesn’t have a release they want because it’s windowed on service B, as an industry we’re kind of shooting the value proposition in the foot a little bit.” Spotify executives have expressed similar sentiments in the past, albeit while striking the odd exclusive deal (e.g. Metallica) themselves. Time thinks exclusives will be more limited in the streaming music world than they are in the streaming films and TV sector, where multiple subscriptions (e.g. Netflix and Amazon Prime) are more common for consumers.