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Spotify, Rhapsody Execs Attack "Wrongheaded" Staggered Releases By Coldplay, Others

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The practice of staggered releases or "windowing" new releases on streaming music services has been a hot topic ever since Coldplay, The Black Keys, Adele and a small but select group of artists chose to withhold their music. Two recent interviews with key executives at Spotify and Rhapsody are certain to fuel the flames.

"My initial take is that it's a very bad idea. From a user standpoint, it's a pretty hostile proposition. There's no data to suggest that it does [negatively affect] sales" Spotify's chief content officer Ken Parks told Fast Company. "To the contrary, our indicators point out that if you want to increase sales, you ought to be increasing access to your music... It's kind of wrongheaded to think you're creating scarcity by withholding. When you withhold a record on Spotify, it is available on torrent sites, on Grooveshark, as well as on YouTube likely.

"I think [the 'windowing' theory] is wrong because Rhapsody provides incremental revenue," according to Rhapsody CEO Jon Irwin. "There are people who are going to continue to want to own and purchase music...There are going to be people who want access and who would never pay... And there are people who, if it's not available on streaming, they're going to steal it. They're going to pirate it. They're not going to go out and buy it."