“Skee Mask’s Spotify snub could be a fork in the road for underground music,” suggested Clash in its report of artist Skee Mask’s decision to keep his new album ‘Pool’ exclusive to Bandcamp.

The framing of this as an anti-Spotify move was driven by Skee Mask himself. “Next project won’t be on spotishyte or any other streaming businesses.. get ready to pay more than 1 microcent for it,” he tweeted earlier this month. A moral stance that would carry more weight if all 18 of its tracks hadn’t been also uploaded to label Ilian Tape’s YouTube channel a week ago.

Let’s be clear: artists have the right to release their music however and wherever they want; Bandcamp exclusives can certainly work as a strategy; and there are plenty of arguments in favour of having tracks on YouTube officially (to get the data and whatever royalties there are) but… if an artist say they’re keeping a project off streaming services, fans may well have questions if the biggest streaming service of all is left out of the ban.

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Music Ally's Head of Insight

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