Spotify denies blacklisting artists who give exclusives to Apple and Tidal

Beyonce, Kanye West, Drake, Radiohead and Frank Ocean have kept key 2016 releases off of the service...

Spotify denies blacklisting artists who give exclusives to Apple and Tidal

Frank Ocean's Blonde has been made exclusively available through Apple Music

Spotify has responded to claims that it is hiding the music of artists who release exclusive music through its rivals - saying that these reports are "unequivocally false."

Bloomberg reported that it had been told by Spotify sources that the Swedish company is making it harder for users to find the music by artists who have released music through competitors. The story said that these artists will not appear on featured playlists and appear lower in search rankings.

As competition heats up in the streaming world, services like Apple Music and Tidal are trying to eat into the lead that Spotify has built up. Controlling exclusive content is a weapon which has been favoured by these companies.

Beyonce, Kanye West, Drake, Radiohead, Frank Ocean and Chance the Rapper have held some of the most highly anticipated and most critically acclaimed records of 2016 from Spotify.

An internal document from Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge stating that the label wants to make exclusive streaming deals a thing of the past was made public last week, days after Frank Ocean released the much-hyped Blonde exclusively through Apple.

The New York Times reports that music executives were made aware of a policy to hide artists who do deals with other streaming services.

However, doing so could serve to compound what is becoming a real issue for Spotify. Making it hard to find anticipated new albums when they get to the service is likely to add to customer frustration. It is also worth noting that Spotify has promoted these albums when they have been made available to them.

Until now users could turn to one month free trials of other apps when an exclusive was released. As these run-out and the actual service offered by streaming services becomes increasingly homogenous, each album that Spotify misses out on creates a dilemma for its customers who could be tempted to migrate elsewhere.