We will soon be launching the ability for our artists and labels to control the street date for each specific music store they authorize for distribution. In the past, our system only allowed one street date for all the music stores which created some problems for savvy musicians who wanted to capitalize off of the download stores (i.e.: iTunes) vs the streaming stores (i.e.: Spotify, Rdio, Apple Music).
For example, some artists with an already established fan base wanted to first only sell their music on iTunes and AmazonMP3 where customers purchase downloads of their albums and then at a later date (Say…3 months later) launch their music on Spotify. This potentially allowed the artist to earn more income since downloads clearly earn more royalty income when compared with streaming. We say “potentially” because for most artists, it isn’t very clear that this would do anything for them other than prevent new fans from hearing about their music. However, for established artists who have an existing and rabid fan base, it clearly could be the smart approach.
Artists could still have done that with our system, but it was messy (which we don’t like) and required them to contact Customer Support when they were ready for their content to launch in another store. The new process should be a much better and automatic way to control the release of content in the music stores.
We still believe that launching your music all at once on every platform, regardless of whether it is a traditional download music store or a streaming music store, is still the best strategy for most new artists (i.e.: Marketing to customers who would never have known about you otherwise), but we believe more in giving the artist the option to plan out what strategy works best for them.
The option to select store specific street dates should be launching very soon (Probably in the next week) since we are waiting for final instructions from Apple concerning the technical side of setting the street date for Apple Music which we think will be provided just prior to the launch of Apple Music on June 30th, 2015.
Store Specific Street Dates