In the middle of April, music compilations brand Now That’s What I Call Music added a free ad-supported tier to its previously subscription-only app. Now it has made its latest album, Now 105, available exclusively through the app for its first week of release. The album went live on Friday (1 May) ahead of its physical and download release this coming Friday (8 May).
Clearly, this isn’t like windowing a regular artist album, since as a charts-focused compilation, every track on Now 105 is already available individually on the various music services. The exclusivity here is merely for the Now branding and the running order of the compilation. The wording around the windowing leaves it open whether this is a one-off to raise people’s spirits during the Covid-19 pandemic, or the start of a permanent strategy for Now in terms of making its compilation releases app-first.