Spotify Punishing Artists Who Have Apple Music Exclusives

Update: A Spotify spokesperson has reached out to us and said that the Bloomberg report is ‘unequivocally false.’

It seems as though Spotify and Apple Music aren’t becoming friends, rather rivals. Via The New York Times and Bloomberg, the feud is now extending to artists, with Spotify punishing artists who agree to have Apple Music exclusives by having their content less visible within the service.

Spotify has outright told artists that their music won’t be displayed in playlists, and that they will “bury” songs in its search rankings if artists choose to have Apple Music exclusives. Spotify has reportedly been doing this for about a year.

Spotify has been retaliating against musicians who introduce new material exclusively on rival Apple Music by making their songs harder to find, according to people familiar with the strategy. Artists who have given Apple exclusive access to new music have been told they won’t be able to get their tracks on featured playlists once the songs become available on Spotify, said the people, who declined to be identified discussing the steps.

While it may not affect major artists, Bloomberg reports that Spotify is going after smaller artists who introduce their music on Beats 1 Radio with Zane Lowe.

With the one year anniversary in June, Apple Music now has over 15 million subscribers, and will likely continue to grow, with the potential of dominating Spotify in the space.

At the time of writing, Spotify currently has roughly twice as many subscribers as Apple Music. But, it is also worth noting that Spotify offers a free ad-based tier, which could hinder Spotify in the long term as the company struggles to make a profit.

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