Coldplay's new album A Head Full of Dreams will be available on Spotify at the end of this week. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the album's impending availability, a major shift from the stance the band expressed last week, and it's since been confirmed by a statement within the Spotify app itself. The band reportedly held the album from Spotify upon its initial release on December 4th because of concerns over the service's free listening tier. Services that require paid subscriptions like Apple Music and Tidal were given access to the album as soon as it was released.
Coldplay's decision regarding the album's availability is arriving in the wake of reports that Spotify may be considering "windowing" some content depending on the nature of a user's subscription. Some of the most popular musicians working today have taken umbrage with Spotify's insistence on an equal, free subscription tier. Taylor Swift yanked her albums from the service roughly a year ago, and Adele withheld her blockbuster new record 25 from all streaming services, a decision that may have contributed to its record-breaking sales numbers.
A Head Full of Dreams isn't the first Coldplay album to enjoy a windowed release, i.e. a staggered release on various streaming services. The band's 2014 LP Ghost Stories was held from Spotify for four months after its initial release, and users couldn't stream 2011's Mylo Xyloto for three months after it was made available for purchase. It remains to be seen whether or not Coldplay's Spotify strategy will impact its first-week sales around the world.
"We are 100 percent committed to our model because we believe that a free, ad-supported tier combined with a more robust premium tier is the best way to deliver music to fans, create value for artists and songwriters, and grow the industry," said Spotify in a statement to The Verge. "In that context, we explored a wide range of promotional options for the new Coldplay album and ultimately decided, together with management, that Coldplay and its fans would best be served with the full album on both free and premium this Friday."