Spotify Giving Less Promotion to Apple, Tidal Exclusives

Ben Sisario, writing for The New York Times, details a new policy from Spotify where they give less promotion to albums on their service if they’ve been exclusives on other platforms first:

Executives at two major record labels said that in recent weeks Spotify, which has resisted exclusives, had told them that it had instituted a policy that music that had benefited from such deals on other services would not receive the same level of promotion once it arrived on Spotify; such music may not be as prominently featured or included in as many playlists, said these executives, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss private negotiations. Spotify declined to comment.

It seems to be getting harder for Spotify to justify any claims that they’re artist friendly. Artists that are doing exclusives with other platforms are doing so because of the massive promotion, and in some cases monetary advantages, of locking in these deals. They’re doing what’s best for them in a world where rates-per-stream are awful (and Spotify wants them to drop even more) and this windowing strategy1 allows them to maximize their income for a small moment in time, and then push the album out broadly everywhere else and gain exposure as they tour. If the reports are true, Spotify’s trying to make that secondary broad push just a little more difficult, and therefore make the windowing strategy less attractive. I’m not a fan.


  1. Sorry for the paywall article, but it really is the best one on this topic.

The Modern Baseball Movement

David Anthony, writing for The A.V. Club, about Modern Baseball:

“We would hear horror stories from fans,” said Lukens. “The easier ones would be like, ‘I got kicked in the face.’ Then there’s the more intense ones like, ‘I put my drink down and now I’m feeling odd,’ or, ‘I was crowdsurfing and guys pulled me down and started groping me.’ We realized that it was as much on us, as it is on everyone else, to make everyone safe and make sure all these venues are safe and accommodating.” These new policies have not only added more work for Lukens and Holt, but they’ve led each member of the band to look inward and find ways to become better allies to the non-white, non-male people at their shows.

This is a really fascinating article, even for someone that’s admittedly not a huge fan of the band. Not sure what’s going on with the typography choices for links though.

In Too Deep – A Fall Tour Preview Playlist

The end of Warped is always followed by an onslaught of fall tour announcements. This year felt even more nuts than usual and with so many bands hitting the road, it can be difficult to know where to begin diving in. So for this week’s playlist I decided to do the heavy lifting for you and preview eight of my must-see tours for this fall.

You can check out the full tracklist below, and stream the playlist now on Spotify.

The Trident Exploit for iOS

Bill Marczak and John Scott-Railton of the Citizen Lab:

Ahmed Mansoor is an internationally recognized human rights defender, based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and recipient of the Martin Ennals Award (sometimes referred to as a “Nobel Prize for human rights”). On August 10 and 11, 2016, Mansoor received SMS text messages on his iPhone promising “new secrets” about detainees tortured in UAE jails if he clicked on an included link. Instead of clicking, Mansoor sent the messages to Citizen Lab researchers. We recognized the links as belonging to an exploit infrastructure connected to NSO Group, an Israel-based “cyber war” company that sells Pegasus, a government-exclusive “lawful intercept” spyware product. NSO Group is reportedly owned by an American venture capital firm, Francisco Partners Management.

The ensuing investigation, a collaboration between researchers from Citizen Lab and from Lookout Security, determined that the links led to a chain of zero-day exploits (“zero-days”) that would have remotely jailbroken Mansoor’s stock iPhone 6 and installed sophisticated spyware. We are calling this exploit chain Trident. Once infected, Mansoor’s phone would have become a digital spy in his pocket, capable of employing his iPhone’s camera and microphone to snoop on activity in the vicinity of the device, recording his WhatsApp and Viber calls, logging messages sent in mobile chat apps, and tracking his movements.

If you’ve got an iPhone or iPad: upgrade it to iOS 9.3.5 as soon as possible.