My Thoughts on… Coldplay’s Spotify snub

Much has been written about Coldplay’s decision to snub Spotify, thought I would add my 15 pence to the mix.

Personally, I think there decision to not allow Spotify to stream their new, number one album, Mylo Xyloto, was more about flexing their muscles as newly crowned Best Act in the World than making a real statement about music.  The band say they want fans to hear the album in its’ entirely.  Bull S**t.  If you wanted to do that, you would have recorded the album as one long track as opposed to allowing people to download (and preview) the individual parts on iTunes.  Or made the entire thing an Album Only download.

Coldplay are in a unique position.  They have such al large and loyal following they could have released an album of Chris Martin vomiting over 13 inanimate objects and it would still have reached No.1 on pre-orders alone.  I know that, you know that, Coldplay know that.  Ok, so audio vomiting may only get them one week at number after the reviews leak out, still it’d be enough to make it one of the best selling albums of the year.

The fact however they did snub Spotify and the fact they got to #1 sets a dangerous precedent for both musicians and the record buying public.

Top record execs seem to live in their own little world sometimes, oblivious to the public and their thoughts.  Seeing Coldplay snub Spotify and get to #1 they’ll think cha-ching, streaming services are dead.  Wrong.  Very few bands have Coldplay’s clout.  And while I do realise bands got to #1 without Spotify in the past and will do so in the future this is about more than that.  This is about protecting a cultural shift in how people listen to and consume music.

The way people interact with music has changed immeasurably since the turn of the century.  Money generation from music has also changed immeasurably.  For any execs thinking they may play the same trick with their new artist, please don’t.  Spotify may not provide much money for labels, but it does provide exposure for artists.  That exposure will lead to ticket sales, increased word of mouth and ultimately album sales.  Take that away and said new artist has to rely on a late night radio playlist listened to by 37 people, X Factor, a tanker load of PR cash or piracy for their music to get their music out there!  That is reality.  Consumers are lazy, and now they don’t have to put the effort in to find new music it’ll be hard for them to go back to old means when the streaming services are killed off.

Any record execs with delusions of grandeur thinking about copying Coldplay’s stunt please don’t.  If more top artists snub Spotify then the service (and other streaming services) will be devalued.  Once they become devalued people will stop using them and migrate back to their old friend piracy.  That is reality. I hope and pray the record industry does not shoot itself in the foot once again trying to get their heads around digital music and chasing a fast buck.

The solution is simple, give people what they had when they bought a CD first.  Then add extras if you need to.

Right I’m going to p*ss off Coldplay by downloading Don’t Let It Break Your Heart and Hurts Like Heaven (I listened to 30 sec snippets on iTunes – great way to hear an album), and then wait for Mylo Xyloto to go on sale at 2 for £10 after Xmas.  Simples… price comparison site for music, now there’s an idea!

Rob

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