CEO of Universal Music Group Lucian Grainge has reportedly ordered the company’s labels to stop making exclusive distribution deals with streaming services.
As reported in The Guardian, according to Bob Lefsetz, author of an influential music industry newsletter, Grainge sent out a company-wide email on Monday confirming the ban.
This rumour comes amid reports from MBW that Frank Ocean did not actually release Blonde onUniversal, apparently fulfilling his contract with the release of the ‘visual album’ Endless only days prior to the Blonde streaming release.
Originally presumed to be an attempt at dissuading the industry practice of “windowing” exclusives, the shot across the bows of the streaming industry looks more likely to be a fit of pique onGrainge’s part at the streaming services display of disloyalty to the major.
As arguably the most powerful record executive in the world, Grainge’s not so tiny temper tantrum could affect the releases of many high profile artists including Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar– ifUniversal follow through. The major label claimed seven out of the top ten selling albums in 2015.
There is another interesting read on streaming exclusives over at Music Business Worldwide, with an insider’s view on Apple exclusives from former Apple employee and indie label founder Sean Glass.
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