Coldplay’s new album gets a staggered streaming release

Coldplay Head Full of Dreams canvasAnother major album release, another segmented digital launch. Coldplay dropped a new album on Friday but have restricted its online availability to paid-only music services. That means A Head Full of Dreams can be heard on the likes of Apple Music and Amazon Prime Music, but not on Spotify. At least, not yet.

Music Business Worldwide is reporting that the new album will arrive on Spotify, for both paid and freemium subscribers, later this week. In fact, the source said there is allegedly “something special” happening between Coldplay and Spotify that is slated to emerge next year.

Although the world has quickly come to call this limited release approach “pulling a Taylor,” the venerable arena rockers actually experimented with windowed Spotify launches for their two most recent albums before Dreams. In fact, Coldplay have also tried other unusual tactics, such as free downloads and early uploads to YouTube, in making their music available to fans while still generating buzz and revenue. Since Coldplay doesn’t have the same rabid youth fanbase of Taylor Swift or the emergence from long hiatus of Adele, it makes sense for the band to have a different take on the balancing act of today’s music ecosystem. It’s still an approach that probably falls outside the grasp of the average workaday musician, but testing these staggered releases at a large scale could help digital platforms to find paths to new releases that ensure everybody is happy and everybody gets paid.

Anna Washenko