Adding that qualifier to the headline isn’t meant to be snarky: it’s just that Motown Records head Ethiopia Habtemariam was hardly likely to open up about any headaches she sees with streaming in an interview with Spotify’s own blog. Still, the interview – to mark the 60th anniversary this year of Motown – is worth a read.

“Honestly, streaming and Spotify helped our industry understand that there was an interest and love for R&B and hip-hop around the world, and that literally changed everything — not only for Black music but for Motown specifically,” said Habtemariam. “Streaming allowed us to reintroduce people to our history and catalogue throughout every decade… I think that we’re all in a place of learning because everything’s changing in real time. But that’s the fun part. There are no rules in this any more.”

Among Motown’s current frontline artists: Migos (who have 19.5 million listeners on Spotify); Lil Yachty (10.9 million); and Lil Baby (15.1 million).

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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