Looks like after a long bloody battle between tech companies and the music labels, an accord had been reached in recent months to deliver streaming audio content to the masses. But, it appears, there’s a new wrinkle that’s popping up — and this time, it’s the artists themselves.
Coldplay has refused to allow titles from its new album, Mylo Xyloto, to play via streaming services like Spotify, Rdio and Rhapsody, says CNET. Can one single band really make a difference here? Well, first of all, it’s not just any band — it’s an immensely popular marquee group with a worldwide following. Secondly, it’s not just them. Singer Tom Waits is also blocking Spotify, Rhapsody and MOG from getting their hands on his latest, Bad As Me. And Adele’s best-selling 21 is nowhere to be found on Spotify.
But unlike the labels’ previous concerns, the point of contention here may not be about money or rights. In Coldplay’s case, it comes down to an artistic decision: The band intends Mylo Xyloto to be heard in its entirety as one cohesive work, so they don’t want it to be sold or streamed piecemeal as individual singles. (In the past, AC/DC, Kid Rock and Pink Floyd have rebuffed digital sales for this same reason.) The strange thing is, Coldplay apparently doesn’t have a problem with digital media in general. Just last week, they offered a new track from this album on iTunes on each day.
It’s all a bit baffling. And EMI, Coldplay’s label, is actually kind of embarrassed about it.
Well, it’s hard to argue with artistic choices — especially when they don’t make a lot of sense — but more than that, it’s tough to swallow the thought of being forced to stream/download extraneous singles just to access the ones we do want. (Rather like those old CDs and cassette tapes, no?) And it begs the question, will streaming services hit a standstill if the most popular, in-demand artists refuse to play ball?
Well, I guess there’s always YouTube.