It has emerged that Coldplay will not be distributing their latest album, ‘Mylo Xyloto’, via music streaming sites such as Spotify, Rdio and Rhapsody. Handlers of the EMI band have sited the reason for this decision as being that Coldplay want the album to be experienced as one cohesive piece as opposed to as individual tracks. Questionable rationale considering the album is available for digital purchase on outlets such as iTunes which allow the purchase of individual songs.
Music streaming is quickly becoming the ‘in thing’ as services such as Spotify have expanded to America and Facebook have partnered with an array of streaming services. If a platform of 800 million users is able to understand the value and see the future of music streaming, then one can only wonder why Coldplay chose to ignore the prospect.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this case is that it is one of the rare occasions where the record label actually want to do something forward thinking. EMI, like the other big record labels, are known to be supporters of streaming services, mainly because they see it is a way of monetising music that may have otherwise been obtained illegally. Sources have informed CNET that EMI are embarrassed by Coldplay’s decision to Axe the streaming distribution medium.
Coldplay are without a doubt a huge band with an extremely large fan base having raked an astonishing 50 million sales during their career. However, as streaming grows more music fans are opting to pay for subscriptions to services such as Spotify. Coldplay, and other artists/labels who have opted against music streaming, for whatever reasons, risk alienating segments of their fan bases.
Coldplay’s decision isn’t likely to have effect their credibility nor sales as ‘Mylo Xyloto’ looks set to debut at number one in the UK album charts, however that doesn’t take away from the fact that it is a short sighted move and one arguably coated with a tint of arrogance.
Coldplay are not alone on this as the management of singer/actor Tom Waits have stated his album ‘Bad as Me’ also will not be distributed via music streaming services.
The important thing that band’s need to realise is that they need to be where the fans are. Once upon a time every artist and band had a Myspace page, because that’s where the fans were, as fans moved, so too the musicians. Likewise as music consumers slowly transition to music streaming services so too should bands and artists no matter how big or small they are.