Photograph by: Leo Cinezi

Spotify, the Swedish streaming service, has plans to make some of its music exclusive to paying customers only.

The streaming service until now made all of its music available to all subscribers with the exception of advertisements for non-paying subscribers; with a total of 100m subscribers on the streaming service, there are exactly 50m paying subscribers and 50m free subscribers.

This alone shows that Spotify has the highest number of subscribers with Apple Music coming in 2nd with 20m users as well as Tidal with only 3m users.

If this change does take place, it will mean that Spotify has the liberty to partner with major record labels (Universal, Sony and Warner) in order to make certain musical content exclusive to paying customers only.

By restricting the following material, this means that music content such as Taylor Swift and Beyonce’s music content (which are not available to users on the following service) can now with the help of this change become available to premier tier customers (who pay £9.99 per month for ad-free music streaming services).

The further question that this action arises for fans and loyal customers of Spotify is, why does any of the music have to become exclusive if it was never exclusive to paying customers before?

The answer is that with streaming services such as Apple Music and Tidal, artists choose to release their music on these platforms before they release the music on Spotify.

They have done so, mainly because of the low monetisation of the artist’s songs, first demonstrated by Taylor Swift when she removed her songs from Spotify and moved to Apple Music shortly after and slowly followed by Rihanna, Drake and Kanye doing the same thing.

The final factor on this subject is that Spotify can use its exclusive position to become the first choice for artists. Meaning that by partnering with major record companies, artists can release their music on Spotify and remain the leading streaming company for music.