We've covered the concept of streaming exclusivity before, including our extensive deep dive on steaming services and our multiple opinion pieces on Protest the Hero's Pacific Myth. But 2016 has seen an explosion of high-profile artists releasing exclusive, stream-only releases on platforms like Tidal and Apple Music. With industry heavyweights like Kanye West, Chance the Rapper and Frank Ocean signing on to the trend, it seems as though this might be a new feature of modern music consumption that - for better or worse - might be here to stay. So we assembled a group of editors and contributors interested in the subject to dissect the issue in our latest Heavy Chat. The conversation ended up running long, but we think you'll find we covered a lot of ground and - hopefully - you'll learn a bit more about the way your music consumption is likely morphing right in front of your eyes.
Tidal may have stirred up significant controversy last year, but critics of streaming platforms have been vocalizing their dissent since Spotify first launched just under a decade ago. The discourse surrounding streaming platforms is essentially identical to the Napster debacle of the nineties, albeit with a fresh cast of vexed musicians, an upgrade in technology and a blurrier definition of fair compensation. What the issue boils down to is this: music producers and consumers are still grappling over what the exact value of music should be in a perpetually advancing digital age. And while streaming services attempted to solve this issue, it succeeded more at complicating things further and creating a new element of the debate. In order to illuminate a highly divisive issue, our latest Deep Dive will discuss the history of streaming platforms, evidence for and against them and their utility within music consumption.