May 20, 2024

Do exclusives sway you to switch platforms or services?


Apple Music launched not too long ago now, entering a pretty crowded streaming music market already. Pandora has been around for what feels like forever already, touting its Music Genome Project as a means to really drill down your favorite tastes and build radio stations around that taste to offer you only what you want to listen to.

We’ve seen the giant Spotify rise to the top of the crop, and we’ve seen competitors like Rdio get swallowed whole by other entities. (I’ll miss Rdio.) And we’ve also watched as services like SoundCloud, and Pandora, have launched their own premium options, blocking content and features behind paywalls. And let’s not forget Tidal.

There are others out there to choose from, and we’ll likely see even more pop up in the future.

Ever since Apple Music debuted, though, there’s been a lot more focus put on exclusive content. In most cases it’s just an exclusive launch of some artist’s or band’s upcoming single, or whole album. It usually means other services, like Spotify, can’t access it for a week or longer. But, eventually, it’ll become available.

Of course, people could always buy the album to gain access and listen to it how ever they want. But if you prefer to just use a streaming service, where that $9.99 per month is applied, then you’ll just have to wait. Unless you subscribe to Apple Music, then it’s nothing you have to worry about.

Some labels have raised concerns with exclusive launches or windows of any kind, but it doesn’t look like it’s a practice that’s going away anytime soon. Especially not for Apple Music. The company seems to announce a new exclusive of some kind, whether it’s an album, or music video, or a whole documentary, on a regular basis. And Apple’s executives that are on overwatch with Apple Music see it as a bonus. A benefit and gift to those who subscribe to the service.

The aforementioned Tidal has had its fair share of exclusives, too, thanks in part to being owned by so many artists like Kanye West. So while Apple Music has a lot of exclusives under its belt already, it’s certainly not the only platform partaking in the strategy.

My question to all of you is: Does it work? Do exclusives convince you to switch platforms? And honestly, this doesn’t even have to just be about streaming music services, either. Have you switched from Xbox or PlayStation because of an exclusive game launch? Switched carriers because the one you were on didn’t have the phone you wanted, but another did? Does a new album’s exclusive availability make you switch to Apple Music or Tidal, instead of sticking with whatever you’re already using? Let me know!

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