For any artist making music now -- or hoping to profit off music they’ve already made -- absence from streaming platforms can feel tantamount to absence from the public eye, period. Yet plenty of the industry’s biggest legacy acts had, until recently, chosen to withhold their catalogs. Those ranks included country stars Garth Brooks and Jason Aldean, and rappers like Dr. Dre -- a streaming player himself with his Beats brand, which was eventually sold to Apple -- but mostly comprised classic rockers, with core acts like AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and (of course) The Beatles holding out for years.
Their reasoning varied, ranging from disputes over paywalls and royalty rates to the artistic sanctity (and commercial value) of an album as a whole. Most of those acts also had avoided digital services at the height of the iTunes single-download era, preferring to keep consumption of their albums -- several of which rank among the all-time best-sellers -- to the all-or-nothing approach (and greater accompanying profits) physical sales offer, especially when their fans might have been more inclined to listen to music on record players rather than phones.