Earache have been on the cutting edge for some time; as a label that is mostly dedicated to underground acts and grindcore, they know that their consumer base is very tech-savvy. They’ve done some bold things in the past, like giving away Wormrot‘s latest album for free. They know that the music business isn’t what it once was, and making this move not long after Century decided to pull out of Spotify and promptly, as Metalsucks puts it, buried their heads in the sand.

Here’s the news, via That Devil Music:

Have you ever wanted to hear that awesome new track from your favourite new band, or to go back and check out the early releases from some of the most legendary names in metal, but not had the money to spend on CDs or downloads? Earache has the answer!

Earache Records has teamed up with popular music streaming service Spotify to give rockers and metalheads instant access to a huge library of killer tunes, all of which are completely free to listen to.

Earache’s entire music catalogue is available now on Spotify, featuring over 3500 tracks from some of the most legendary names in rock and metal, including such classic acts as AT THE GATES, CARCASS, MORBID ANGEL, DEICIDE and NAPALM DEATH, along with the latest releases from some of the hottest new bands such as EVILE, RIVAL SONS, WORMROT and many more.

To listen to the entire Earache music catalogue, just head to http://bit.ly/all-earache-spotify (Spotify account required)

Earache’s Spotify catalogue is a great place to listen to your favourite bands and also to find new music, and it’s always being updated, so keep checking back for the latest and greatest new releases!

Metal is a pretty niche market, and 90% of the time, the fans can find their way around the internet with ease. You can name any album off the top of your head and I’ll get you a download link in a good 30 seconds, and you can have it downloaded in under five minutes. Record labels and some bands may not like it, but that’s just the reality of the market right now, and it isn’t going to change because you’ve pulled out of a fast-growing service that is surely to become the way people listen to music. Spotify is the future, and some people are stuck and can’t seem to adapt. Of course, it’s not like Earache are pulling in Lacuna Coil money, but this will no doubt work in getting their music out to a wider audience and making this music available.

Sure, the royalty payments are small right now, but that’s certainly better than the nothing at all you’re going to get paid when your average Joe decides he want’s to hear what all the buzz is about regarding the new Devin Townsend Project records (which are out on InsideOut, a subsidiary of Century Media). Honestly, it’s much easier to stream an album from Spotify instantly than to go out and get a torrent or a mediafire link, what have you, but do you think Joe’s gonna buy it because he can’t hear it on Spotify? NOPE. But the potential to get new fans that will buy merch and ticket shows is still there.  Earache understands this, and kudos to them.

That’s my take on the issue. I’m not going to pretend I’m super knowledgeable on the matter, so I’m going to direct you to Metalsucks’ brilliant take on the issue, and a witty retort to a condescending and passive aggressive email that “the suits” sent to Vince. UNCLE VINCE, WINS AGAIN.

– JR

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