The hip-hop superstar has been closely tied with the streaming service since its launch in 2015, with a deal manifesting in two exclusive album releases, exclusive music videos and a short film, TV ads, tour sponsorship and more. But now, it seems More Life will buck that trend.
Pitchfork reports a source at Amazon has confirmed that the “playlist” will be available on their streaming service at the same time as Apple Music. On Thursday (March 16) Spotify suggested the same when it tweeted the project’s trailer with the caption “coming soon.”
— Spotify (@Spotify) March 16, 2017
There are a few possible theories why Drake would go wide with his More Life release.
Drake’s record label OVO is distributed through Republic Records, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group, whose chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge decreed an end to streaming exclusives following Frank Ocean‘s coup last year. This could have prohibited an Apple Music-only release. But reports at the time said that ban would not include previously negotiated deals, which Drake’s with Apple most likely would have been.
More probably, this could be a reflection of the industry’s general trend moving away from exclusives, as well as an indication of what More Life will hold. The project is being teased as a playlist, which likely means it will be somewhat of an OVO label compilation and not a straight-up Drake album. And while Drake on his own certainly has enough power to make people sign up for a service just to hear his album, the broader acts on his label do still not — meaning he’d want it heard by as many people as possible, regardless of his streaming allegiances.