Update: The albums is coming to iTunes at midnight
With the news of Beyoncé releasing her newest album exclusively on Tidal, I'm reminded once again why exclusive streaming only releases are unfair to fans and ultimately will lead to piracy.
Let's say that you are an Apple Music (or a Spotify) subscriber, and you wake up to the news of Beyonce's new album with much excitement. You dash off to your streaming app, and try to find it. It's not there, but no worries. She must have only released it as a paid download (apparently artists make no money from streaming). Adele did this recently as well. As you open the iTunes app on your iPhone, you are amazed that Beyoncé's new album isn't there. You discover it's only on some streaming service called Tidal.
We have a fan who spends money on streaming, and who was also willing to purchase the album being told they can essentially rent access to it for $10/mo. Yes, I know that all streaming services are rentals, but this album is only available on a single streaming service with no paid download options (or even a CD to buy). If you want this album, you will pay $10/mo for as long as you want it.
This album release model is bad for fans. If someone has no interest in Tidal, their options are to either pirate it or never hear it. Yes, piracy will be the option for a lot of people, but a lot of people will just never hear it.
When an artists only releases an album on a specific streaming service, they are saying that my music is so good that you don't deserve it own it. There is no download, no CD, and no vinyl.
If an artists requires me to pay a monthly fee to access their new material on a specific streaming service, then they don't deserve my time (and certainly not my money).
If artists want consumers to respect music for the art that it is, maybe they should respect their fans first. Not offering a digital download of a new album is a big: