It doesn't look like Spotify will be getting into the album exclusive game anytime soon. In a recent interview with Billboard, Troy Carter, Spotify's global head of creator services, called exclusives "bad for artists, bad for consumers, and bad for the whole industry." He joked to Billboard that Spotify will only have "inclusives."
Carter's comments come just a few days after Frank Ocean's Blonde made the future of exclusives a little murky. Ocean released Blonde independently through Apple Music, after his visual album Endless had already satisfied his contractual obligations with his label, UMG. UMG apparently responded by banning its artists from having exclusives.
While this doesn't exactly mean the days of album exclusives are numbered, UMG's decision might make labels nervous. If Frank Ocean realized he could release his highly anticipated album through a streaming service without the help of a label, what's stopping any other big artists from doing the same? In his role at Spotify, Carter works with artists and labels, and will try to use that influence to push for all-platform releases, according to Billboard.
And the lack of exclusives doesn't seem to be hurting Spotify's subscriber base either. Carter told Billboard the streaming service now has 39 million subscribers, up from 30 million in March. Apple Music had just 13 million subscribers in April.