Music Industry Hits Pause on Exclusive Album-Release Deals

The music industry’s tradition of releasing albums via only one particular retailer or online service—often the one that pays for the privilege—endured through physical discs, digital downloads and into the streaming era. But at some record companies, the practice of granting “exclusives” now appears to be headed the way of the eight-track tape.

The music companies now realize that restricting desirable albums to one online service could limit the overall growth of subscription music—viewed by labels as key to their own long-term survival. In their place, streaming-music services are scrambling to hire well-connected “ambassadors” who can help them line up artists to make playlists, videos and other promotional materials to differentiate themselves.

Source: WSJ

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