The band's release strategies tend to put purchases and payments over free listening — except for promotional purchases.
Coldplay has held back its new album, A Head Full of Dreams, from Spotify, becoming the latest A-list artist to avoid the world's largest paid music service. Instead, the album, out Friday, is available at paid-only subscription services like Apple Music as well as Amazon Prime Music, Amazon's music streaming service it makes available to its Prime members.
The news is getting heavy media attention but was totally predictable. For years, Coldplay has tinkered with its release strategies and prioritized purchases and paid listening over anything ad-supported. The release of its 2008 album Viva La Vida or Death To All His Friends was preceded by a free download of the fist single, "Violet Hill" and a free concert at Madison Square Garden. At the time, no other popular band had ever done something so radical. It seems to have worked. Viva La Vida had U.S. sales of 721,000 in its first week, according to Nielsen Music. That was followed by a free download of a live album for fans that attended the Viva La Vida tour.