Quick Hits: Reactions to exclusive releases across the industry

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web. Today’s duo is centered around exclusive album releases following the debut of Frank Ocean’s highly-anticipated new project released as an Apple Music exclusive.

Ocean opted to self-release Blonde, with eagle-eyed observers noting that there’s no mention of either Def Jam or Universal in the metadata. UMG head Lucian Grainge has now reportedly told the company that there will be no more exclusive deals with streaming services. If that policy does come into effect, it could mean big changes in which artists streaming platforms can seek relationships with. Or artists with a large amount of fan support could follow Ocean’s lead and split off to go it alone.

Sean Glass, a former employee at Apple, spilled the beans on exclusives in the streaming industry. His opinions were decidedly positive about Apple’s approach and critical of labels. “There’s one guy who is behind ALL of these campaigns — and he is light years ahead of everyone else,” Glass wrote. “He works intimately with each artist as a creative peer, and develops an amazing plan, this is no simple land grab. He works closer with the artists than labels do.”

Anna Washenko