Why Your Cover Songs May Never Be Streamed Thanks To New Rules At Spotify, Apple Music

Mobile Cover SongsAlthough recording covers of popular songs has long been a tactic for more obscure artists to try and gain prominence, streaming services like iTunes and Spotify are taking steps to either hide or remove these versions in an effort to make it easier for users to find the originals.


Guest Post by Bobby Owsinski on Music 3.0

Doing a great cover version of a hit song has been a successful tactic in helping to raise the visibility of an artist or band for some time, but that practice may soon come to an end thanks to new efforts by iTunes, Spotify and other streaming services.

More and more, digital streaming services are either hiding or removing cover songs, sound-alikes, re-recorded songs and live performances in an effort to [simplify] their catalogs and make it easier for users to find the song they really want.

15880.original1And they have a point. Searching for a popular song sometimes turns up more than 50 choices, making it difficult to find the original that you're looking for.

The problem is that there are many unintended policies that come with this editorial decision.

For instance, it's been reported by Billboard that one service's "blacklist" of recordings that include 400 artists that range from B.B. King, Frank Sinatra, John Coltrane and Pete Seeger.

Re-records, the practice of an artist or band re-recording one of their hits so they own the recording instead of the record label, are also frequently marginalized as well, although many fans aren't all that unhappy as most prefer the original versions.

So beware if you're recording a cover song in the hopes of gaining some extra streams. While the practice may still work on YouTube, chances are your cover won't see the light of day on the other streaming services from now on.

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  1. There has always been a trend in the business for multiple versions of songs by varying artists. Case in Point Ray Charles’s version of “Eleanor Rigby” , Grand Funk’s “Locomotion” almost all of the “Great American Songbook” how many versions of Stella by Starlight” are there, The Beatle covers of Chuck Berry, etc… The list is endless. Not a well thought out policy it’s never really about what’s good for the fans or the music

  2. I wonder how badly this will fail for the thousands of musical works for which THERE IS NO ORIGINAL recording: Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner, Bach, etc.

  3. How odd. How weird. Most of the time, the best versions of often covered songs are not those by the original artists. I wonder what the GNU license crowd has to say about this, who largely are advocates of the public domain for works that don’t even belong to the arts.

  4. How weird is right!!! No, no, no, no, no!
    Can you imagine no Sam Cooke covers no Sarah Vaughn and her Beatles Album with wonderful versions of “Eleanor Rigby” and “Blackbird”.
    No Frank Sinatra and Carlos Jobim cover of the “Girl from Ipanema”???
    How about the 50’s classic version of “Brazil” by the Coasters?
    Depriving the young of these classics is a travesty.
    They’ve already taken music out of our schools now they want to take it out of our hearts and souls…
    This is wrong in so many ways…

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