Analysis

Ellie Goulding: ‘On My Mind’ single withheld from YouTube and SoundCloud


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It’s a big day for fans of Ellie Goulding: pre-orders for her new album have gone live, and her latest single ‘On My Mind’ is making its debut on radio, streaming services and download stores.

There are two prominent places you won’t find the full version of the track, though: YouTube and SoundCloud.

The song is being withheld from both services deliberately, in order to drive traffic to iTunes, Spotify and Apple Music. A 30-second clip HAS been uploaded to YouTube and to Facebook, pointing to those services.

Note: this is NOT a full boycott of YouTube. There will be an official video for ‘On My Mind’ debuting on Vevo next week, which means the full song will also be on YouTube.

SoundCloud? That’s anyone’s guess. Goulding does have an official SoundCloud profile with more than 6.5m followers, but in the last year it has only posted remixes and covers.

This isn’t the first example of such an approach.

One Direction’s last single ‘Drag Me Down’ made its debut on Apple, Spotify and other streaming services on 31 July, but was withheld from YouTube until 20 August when its official video was released. The video has since been watched more than 75m times on YouTube, but streamed nearly 86m times on Spotify.

YouTube remains a key plank in most labels’ digital marketing strategies, but it will be interesting to see if more labels follow the examples set by the 1D and Goulding campaigns in giving audio streaming services the jump over YouTube, while leaving SoundCloud out in the cold entirely.

It looks like Polydor’s parent company Universal is on the ball when it comes to taking down fan uploads of ‘On My Mind’ on YouTube. Several – this one and this one for example – have already been removed due to copyright claims by Interscope, Geffen, A&M Records.

An “official audio” version of the track did appear to be uploaded to Ellie Goulding’s YouTube channel this afternoon – it’s visible in YouTube’s search results –  but has since been removed.

This story was edited on 18 September to remove an inaccurate reference to YouTube as a platform that is unmonetised and chart-ineligible. YouTube counts towards the charts in the US, and is monetised globally.

Stuart Dredge

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