I’ve been eagerly awaiting the new Coldplay release, Mylo Xyloto for sometime now. Call me soft, call me ladylike, call me simpleminded; I think they’re a great band that has constantly been able to re-invent themselves while somehow retaining the core elements of their identity as a group. Also… I like the music.
I was really perplexed when I opened up Spotify on Tuesday morning to find that Coldplay’s latest release was absent from the album library.
“That’s werid, I guess they released it early on iTunes…”
It came out yesterday on CNet that Coldplay will NOT be releasing the album on Spotify… like, ever.
This is so backwards on a few levels. Some people in the Coldplay camp are saying that the band wants their new work to be heard in its entirety as an album, rather than allowing listeners to pick and choose singles. If that’s the case, why can I pop on iTunes right now and buy any ONE track from the album? Not to mention the fact that the band let the album out one track at a time via iTunes last week anyway.
I think the true motive is that they want to collect more revenue from the songs now, rather than waiting for smaller payouts from streaming services. This solution is VERY short-sighted though.
Restricting your music to pay-only channels is going to drive certain consumers toward other free channels, since the legal ones are closed (and by “other free channels,” I mean piracy).
The public is moving toward streaming at a furious pace. Every time I open Spotify, my friends list seems to be multiplying faster than a nest of rabbits; and with saturation in every demographic on Facebook. Artists need to be where the people are.
EMI, the band’s label, is quiet on the matter and is continuing to hurt after losing Robbie Williams to Universal. Likely too scared to ruffle any more of their artists’ feathers, they’re content to allow their larger artists to do as they please.
As for me, I’ll have to wait until Monday when the vinyl comes in to my local shop to pick it up. Why they released that a week later, I’m not sure. Scratch that. I think they were hoping fanboys would need to hear the new album so bad that we’d buy it on iTunes this week, then get it on our preferred medium, vinyl, next week… kind of like when movies do the DVD release before the Blu-Ray or “collector’s edition.”
To clarify, I’m not against the band trying to make a buck. On the contrary, I want long-term success for them. A business model that at best ignores, and at worst spits in the face of, where trends in music acquisition are headed is exactly the model that will perpetuate the struggles of the music industry.
This goes for you too, Adele.
To be clear, this is not a debate over download vs. streaming. I’m an advocate for legal download channels, as well as streaming. I simply think that artists need to get behind streaming services if they hope to cut back on piracy.
Without the support of chart-topping artists, streaming services have no shot at overtaking downloaded content as the primary means of media consumption. While that may sound great to those rooting for the success of downloaded media, it basically puts us in the same place we’ve been for the better part of the past decade; extinguishing the one technological advance that could have saved the music industry.