Last Friday, Frank Ocean’s ‘Blond’ album was made available on Spotify after its period of Apple Music exclusivity. Reports this week have claimed that the streaming service is “burying” the album by not featuring it on prominent playlists, as a punishment for the Apple deal. Are they true though? Ocean does have a track on Spotify’s biggest R&B playlist, ‘Are & Be’, which has 2.2 million followers. That said, ‘Pink + White’ is only the 13th track on the playlist, with Drake’s under-exposed ‘One Dance’ song eight places above it. The reports are correct in pointing out that Ocean doesn’t have any tracks on the flagship ‘New Music Friday’ playlist, although Spotify might argue that ‘new to Spotify after three weeks on a rival’ doesn’t fit the playlist’s ‘released today’ focus. Spotify did promote the album’s availability via its social profiles, but with 4.3 million monthly listeners, Ocean is currently only the 257th most popular artist on Spotify. That said, this isn’t a static storefront: ‘Blond’ will also be making its way to listeners via Spotify’s ‘Release Radar’ and ‘Discover Weekly’ playlists, as well as through Browse recommendations. It’s just that these channels are harder to measure from the outside, making playlist policies the focus of industry attention.

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