Universal Music Group has reportedly moved to ban the practice. Is the whole streaming exclusives thing doomed?

The music streaming business is getting more fragmented, and for the fans it’s getting increasingly difficult to listen to all the new albums they would like to, because they have to pay for multiple streaming services. It’s a business that, like any other, has only profit in mind, but it seems someone has taken a look at the problem from the other side.

Kanye West recently tweeting: “This Tidal Apple beef is fucking up the music game. Fuck all this dick swinging contest. We all gon be dead in 100 Years. Let the kids have the music.”

Bob Lefsetz
, who runs a music industry newsletter, has stated that Universal Music Group is banning exclusive streaming. According to him, a company-wide email has been sent on Monday by the CEO of UMG himself, Lucian Grainge, containing this information.

This bears significance, as UMG is an umbrella company that’s a home to almost 80 labels, including artist-ran labels. Capitol, Def Jam and Interscope are among the major names with UMG, and so are Kanye West’s, Dr. Dre’s and Eminem’s labels, to name just a few. In fact, UMG holds all five of this year’s Grammy nominees for album of the year – Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, Chris Stapleton and Alabama Shakes. And they’d all be affected by this change!

It will be interesting to see if other labels will follow their example.

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