Students at Carrboro have been feeling the isolating effects of music streaming albums lately.
Whereas music used to be available to any dedicated fan willing to spend a few dollars, it now exists in a market in which artists sign off on deals in which only one streaming service can release their music.
The most recent example of this new trend in the music industry is the case of Frank Ocean’s Sophomore full-length album Blond. An Apple Music Exclusive, Carrboro students who aren’t subscribed are up in arms about the exclusion.
“When Frank Ocean’s album first came out, I was giddy as a kid!” said Declan Sistachs, senior. “I was thinking to myself ‘here comes Frankie with that soul sound I just need!’ And when I discovered that his album was unavailable to someone who didn’t subscribe to a streamer, just like Kanye’s album, I just felt left out.” When asked if he would pay the 10 dollars a month, Sistachs said “of course not, that’s ridiculous. I’m not paying 120 dollars a year just to hear an album.”
Carrboro students are set to become increasingly upset heading into 2017, as more artists are pledging their allegiance to different streaming services. Whether it be with Kanye West’s Tidal, or Apple Music, or even Spotify, more artists are signing these deals.
When asked if she would consider paying the monthly fees of a streaming service if her favorite artist released an exclusive album, senior Katie Fesperman said “I don’t think so. I subscribe to spotify, but if my favorite artist became exclusive to Tidal or Apple Music, I don’t think I would pay the money just to hear the artist. I won’t pay for an artist who’s in it just for the money.”
Whether it means they are in it only for the money or not, it’s undeniable that more artists are signing off on these deals. As the industry moves even further away from hard cover album sales to online streams, it only makes sense that the artists will set themselves up for a future in which maximum profit is guaranteed.