Aged 13-30? Brands pay to hear your opinions Sign up and get paid in £25 vouchers Sign me up
Sign me up
Articles > Entertainment November, 10, 2016

Why Should We Have To Pay For Spotify, Tidal AND Apple Music?

Rylan Gates
View Profile


8.52 / 10

If you’re a music fan like me, this situation will probably sound familiar: the biggest album of the year has just dropped, but you can’t listen to it. Why? Because it’s only available via a certain music streaming site – one that you don’t pay for. Frustrating, right? Exclusive streaming is becoming far more frequent. However, in a world where music is instantly available – for free – with just the click of a button, is there really a place for such exclusivity?

exclusive albums on music streaming websites

Over the last few years, services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal have been paying artists more and more money to keep their albums limited to their respective platforms in hopes of attracting more customers. By securing high-profile names – Kanye West, Beyoncé, Frank Ocean – this technique has often proved effective.

Kanye’s The Life Of Pablo was an album that I, amongst others, had been dying to hear. Exclusively released on Jay-Z’s streaming service, Tidal, Pablo was not available to listen to immediately, unless you were willing to fork out the cash to pay for the privilege of listening. I really resented this, as I am a firm believer that music should be available to all.

Nevertheless, as much as I hated the principle, this was Kanye (whose last release was in 2013 with Yeezus). I had to hear it. And so, like many others, I succumbed. As a result, Tidal gained around 2 million more subscribers. It seems the system works.

“Why should I have to pay for two or more streaming services just to listen to my favourite artists?”

Now, fool me once, shame on you. But fool me twice? I’m not so sure. When another of my favourite artists Chance the Rapper decided to release his album exclusive to Apple Music I wasn’t as willing to repeat my actions. Why should I have to pay for two or more streaming services just to listen to my favourite artists? The average consumer could now find music to be way too expensive. I mean we do still have bills to pay and lives to lead, no matter how much we love the music.

Streaming is a great idea that helped make music more instant and more accessible. It transformed the way we listen to music, as well as how we share it. However, this new trend in big name artists picking and choosing certain popular platforms to present their music on really sets the world of streaming back. It discourages people from subscribing in fear that they may miss out on their favourite artist’s album if they make the wrong choice.

Although, this trend is not only bad for consumers, it’s bad for the artists, too. It makes them look greedy, causing disgruntled fans to lose interest, and by denying people instant access to their favourite music, alternative ways of listening are found. Music piracy is pretty common already – something that artists do not benefit from – however selective album releases could see this activity become more popular than ever.

Exclusive album streaming has certainly shaken up the music world. Label owners have started to ban exclusive releases whilst, at the same time, the likes of Kanye have started saying they’ll never release CDs again. With all this and OutKast still not reuniting, music is in a strange place right now. It’s safe to say that the future for music consumers is not very clear right now and I don’t think that will be changing any time soon.

Do you agree? Are you as annoyed by this or are you willing to fork up the cash for your favourite artists?


Rate this Article
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars

Join our community!

Join and get £10 free credit

Earn points for completing surveys and other research opportunities

Get shopping vouchers and treat yo self!


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Tj

    It is fair that we pay to stream our favorite artists as they have to take time out of their day in order to make music for us to enjoy and listen to. By us paying we are really saying thank you and noticing the fact that we know they had to take time and struggle on producing the music we love.



  3. Suraj

    I think you make superb articles and should make more imo.

    Great content, 10/10 and look forward to more articles about pop music which you seem to be interested in. Good for you.

  4. Vanessa

    I think they should lower the price because if you use more than 1 app then they are ripping you off.

  5. Annabell

    Musicians have taken a lot of time and given a lot of effort to make music that we enjoy and we should pay in return as a thank you. However, does the money always go to the people who actually made the misic or had anything to do with it? Is the distribution fair? Is there any point paying when most of the money may go to spotify itself and doesnt benefit the musicians?

  6. Lee

    I think that it is really unfair for us, as average teenage consumer should be paying for the same amount as an average adult, who has the money to pay bills and music services. in my opinion, I believe teenagers can have music streaming service for free, so that they can enjoy the music that they listen to, and not let it interfere with they financial problems. This is for the people who are music lovers.

  7. Nas

    I think it’s fair enough for us to pay for our favourite music as they have to work hard in order to make music for us to enjoy, so it is not a big deal lol

  8. Vedran

    I think that way musicians are earning their money fairly and we get license to listen to their music. Otherwise, if you don’t want to pay for it you can easily go on Youtube and listen to whatever you want.
    I am a producer also but I haven’t made any money from my music yet, so I know how important to musicians is to pay at least £1 or something for their latest track. Specially if they are really famous.

  9. Natalie

    I think that it’s quite stupid, like on apple devices you can download apps such as “tubidy” and downlaod free songs from youtube than paying in app and getting the same. I think if new albums are being released they shouldn’t be really posted on media’s such as youtube where anyone get free songs from. Just my opinion so that it is fair for musicians.

  10. Zakiyah

    I think it is a fair argument but musicians need money as well. This is their job, their living. However, I recommend Apple Music as there was currently an offer for music £4.99 per month which was reasonable for me.

  11. Nathan

    I think they should either charge you for new music for up to 8 weeks of release or not charge people at all. Cuz why bother charging people for music by legacy holders (such as Prince or David Bowie)?

  12. Işıl

    Life is expensive