So What’s Wrong with a Streaming Service Offering Exclusives?

Tidal is after me to join up. Another email arrived this morning which included promises of exclusive performances from them. Something about these exclusives doesn’t sit well with me, though, and I couldn’t figure out what. Then this arrive from Music Industry Blog.

The Problem With Streaming Exclusives

Jay-Z’s ambitions for TIDAL has triggered a lot of discussion about how streaming models can evolve.  One focus has been exclusives with a number of references to TIDAL ‘doing a Netflix’ by commissioning exclusives.  Netflix can attribute much of its growth over the last couple of years to its flagship ‘Netflix Originals’ such as ‘House Of Cards’ and ‘Orange Is the New Black’.  It is an appealing model but the Netflix Originals approach cannot so easily be transferred to music.

There are three main types of exclusives:

1.    Service Window: album is released exclusively to a single music service for a fixed period of time e.g. only on TIDAL for 1 month

2.    Tier Window: album is released across one type of music service tier before others e.g. only on paid subscription tiers for 3 months

3.    Service Exclusive: music service acquires exclusive rights to an album so that it will never appear anywhere else unless the service decides to let it

Read the rest of it here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

2 thoughts on “So What’s Wrong with a Streaming Service Offering Exclusives?

  • April 30, 2015 at 8:22 am

    How many screens does the modern consumer need to have music pumping out of? Between FM radio, YouTube, streaming terrestrial radio and endless free music apps, why are people still paying subscription fees for unlimited access to Beyonce remixes?

    This must be a generational thing, because at my age I see this as giving your money away for music that you barely even get to rent. I’ll keep my CDs, vinyl and loaded iPods.

  • April 30, 2015 at 10:23 am

    I gladly pay $10 / month to not have to carry around my CDs, vinyl and loaded iPods (not to mention jumping between stations or YouTube playlists to find the music that I want). Not sure that ‘convenience’ and ‘choice’ is a generational thing though…


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