Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge has sent out an email to UMG executives according to The Leftsetz Letter, announcing that the company will be prohibiting the practice of exclusive music streaming deals. The move comes on the heels of exclusive releases by artists such as Frank Ocean, and scathing remarks by music industry analyst and critic Bob Lefsetz, who published an open letter this past weekend, stating that Apple should be “investigated by the government for antitrust” and that artists who take money from Apple for exclusives are complicit in “screwing fans.”
Because there’s a conspiracy between Apple Music and the industry to change the game, to get everybody to pay for a subscription by putting hit content behind a paywall.
In his letter, Lefsetz explains how the music industry eventually embraced streaming and how the services had been “fan-friendly” until the recent move toward penning exclusive release deals with artists. Leftsetz goes on to criticize the amount of press buzz created by these exclusive deals, which push out other acts that might be more worthy of recognition, and how the industry still needs a “free tier” where “casual fans can experience new music” rather than “overpaying” for the experience. [via Macrumors]