A frustrating thing about Netflix is the amount of churn with their programming. A movie, documentary or a TV show lives on the service for a while and then disappears after a while. Blame it on the licensing agreements by which Netflix has to abide.
The same thing happens with streaming music services. One day, you’re putting albums and individual songs onto your playlists and tagging them as favourites. But then they suddenly disappear. You might still see the song/album on your playlist or in a search but it’s labelled as “unavailable.” This is the case for even for people who pay for, say, the premium version of Spotify. What’s going on?
It’s a case-by-case situation.
- Jay-Z pulled all his stuff from every platform and ported everything to Tidal, of which he is a part owner.
- Glitches/disputes over contracts or licensing deals. This happened with MIA, Aaliyah and a few others. For example, artists associated with the defunct Blackground Records (Toni Braxton, Timbaland) can’t be found on streaming services because the licensing rights to their songs are all screwed up.
- Label issues. Radiohead hasn’t been a fan of streaming from the beginning. That’s been complicated by multiple distribution deals that resulted in a couple of deluxe editions of their albums being removed–or parts of them, at least.
- Bands get in trouble. Take the case of PWR BTTM, a member of which was accused of sexual assault. Poison. Pulled. Dropped.
- Kanye West was all weird about The Life of Pablo. He kept releasing it and pulling it until he could get it right.
Frustrating, yes, but it’s something we’ll have to live with until more of the legalities around streaming get sorted out. Read more here.