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Spotify slams report it is punishing artists who have exclusive deals with Apple Music


By Seb Joseph, News editor

August 27, 2016 | 3 min read

It might not like artists having exclusive deals with its rivals but Spotify does not punish them by making them harder to find in its library, it has argued following a report that claimed it did.

Spotify redefines its marketing strategy now it’s no longer the disruptor in music.

Spotify labels report it is punishing artists who have exclusive deals with Apple Music .

The defense follows a report that claimed the business supposedly punishes those artists who have exclusive deals with the likes of Apple Music or Tidal. It’s been going on for around a year, though it has escalated in recent months, the report added.

However, Spotify told Recode the claim is “unequivocally false”, which would make sense given it could do more harm than good if it were harder for people to find their favourite artists on the streaming platform.

Regardless, the dispute points to how hotly contested the streaming market has become this year. Apple Music has emerged as the largest contender to Spotify in that time, signing up more than 15 billion subscribers since its launch last June. Exclusive deals with the likes of Drake and Frank Ocean have been key to that rapid rise, though much to the dismay of Spotify and Universal Music Group boss Lucian Grainge.

It all points to how quickly the streaming space is changing as its biggest players quicken attempts to make money from a product people are notoriously loathe to pay for. Indeed, Spotify is in the midst of renegotiating licensing contracts with the world’s biggest record labels ahead of its potential IPO next year. To do that, it will need long-term deals with the labels in order to secure a higher valuation from investors, according to Bloomberg. Despite generating more than $2bn in revenue, the business isn’t profitable, in part due to the high fees it has to pay to labels and publishers.

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