Perhaps it’s true that there’s no such thing as a “Spotify holdout” — it’s just that it only makes sense for bands to put their music in certain places at certain times. In the film/video industry, and more recently in the music industry, this is called “windowing” releases.
Pink Floyd is the latest of these “holdouts” to issue their catalog of albums to Spotify, so that fans can listen to them all, for free, or for $10/month alongside everything else in Spotify. This time, there’s a twist.
The band and Spotify put together an interesting promotion, starting Friday: They would only “unlock” the catalog if people streamed one song [updated], “Wish You Were Here,” one million times.
This promotion kicked off just three days ago, and already, Floyd fans have unlocked that achievement, to use the videogame terminology. Someone, somewhere, clocked the millionth listen this morning. That means that “starting today [Monday], Spotify users can listen to every track from every Pink Floyd album on-demand, free – including The Wall, The Dark Side of the Moon, Animals and Division Bell – they are all there.”
Exclusive deals are taking on an elevated importance, and in this case, Spotify is attempting to distinguish itself from the competition, including Rdio, which has had Pink Floyd for two months [updated].
Update 1hr later: “Spotify is the only free streaming music service to have the entire Pink Floyd catalogue,” claims Spotify. However, after a reader alerted Evolver.fm to Floyd being on Rdio, we confirmed the albums are on Rdio. Spotify said it’s the only “free” service that has them, so maybe that’s the distinction they’re trying to make, although Rdio has a free version too. An Rdio staffer said the service added new versions of the Floyd albums on April 16.
Update 5pm ET: We’ve heard back from Spotify about our last update, and it appears the company is claiming it’s “free” is more “free” than Rdio’s, which is what makes Spotify “the only free streaming music service to have the entire Pink Floyd catalogue.”
Finally, no more getting fooled into listening to lame, fake tribute bands covering Pink Floyd tracks!
In celebration, here’s the 2011 remaster of my favorite Floyd record, Meddle: