Yaylor Swift has joined a litany of artists in holding back a new release from subscription services. Her new album Red is conspicuously absent from Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, Mog and Xbox Music this week.
The album’s absence from subscription services is part of a formula that has worked well in the past. Red is not likely to be available at subscription services until Swift’s next album is released, according to a source familiar with the label’s strategy with her previous releases. Instead, the focus for Red is a mountain of retail campaigns and promotions at both well-known CD sellers and non-traditional retailers. And, as has happened in the past, “Red” was released on a Monday instead of the typical Tuesday release day.
Like some other executives, Big Machine Records founder Scott Borchetta has struggled with the subscription model.
“I personally struggle with that model – I don’t think that it should be free,” Borchetta told Billboard.biz at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas in September. “We’ve spoken with the services, and spoken with Spotify in particular, and we’ve talked about a lot of different things. We just haven’t hit on the right model that works for us. I don’t have thousands and thousands of albums and hundreds and hundreds of artists, I have a finite artist roster and finite number of releases. If you’re a big battleship like Sony or Universal and have tens of thousands of masters, that income stream makes sense at a big corporation. It doesn’t make sense to a small record company.”
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