According to Bloomberg, which cited people familiar with the strategy, Spotify is retaliating against musicians who introduce new material exclusively on Apple Music. Spotify, which is gearing up for an initial public offering, is reportedly punishing musicians who have exclusive deals with Apple, Inc. The company has also reportedly instituted a new exclusives policy which is meant to de-emphasize promotion for music that has received prior exclusive release on other streaming services. This is not about suppressing search results, this is about promoting music differently on the Spotify platform as a direct result of exclusives signed with streaming services like Apple Music. Its representative said that the report is "unequivocally false".
Last year, overall music sales and streams in the U.S. alone grew more than 15% to almost 550 million albums from around 475 million in 2014-a huge leap in a single year-thanks to over 317 billion songs streamed on-demand.
It just doesn't make sense to keep artists that popular away from users when the competition is really heating up in music streaming and profits are nonexistent. Clearly, Spotify does not enjoy when big-name acts, such as Drake or Kanye West release their music first on Apple or Tidal.
While Tidal, which is co-owned by Jay Z, has a much more personal relationship with artists to leverage for exclusives.
But it will want to make the case to Ocean and other artists that they would ultimately have done better if they had let Spotify give it a full promotional push from the get-go.
However, for Ocean, it's also thumbing his nose at Spotify and TIDAL, the two main rivals to Apple Music. On the other hand, Beyoncé's latest album, "Lemonade" is offered exclusively on Tidal, but it can be purchased on iTunes.
The music streaming landscape continues to increase in its competitiveness.
Competitors Apple, Google and Amazon have a significant advantage over Spotify however, Apple has its hardware division, Google generates vast sums of revenue from advertising and Amazon is built upon a flourishing e-commerce.
Still, we're not sure what kind of prize these players are competing for.