Black Collar Workers



Century MediaSpotify

Much has been made of Century Media’s very public anti-Spotify stance on MetalSucks, and as such there’s really no need to repeat it again here.

Now it appears as if Century might be having a change of heart, but only if they believe your band isn’t going to sell that many records anyway.

The Devastated’s new album — which came out two weeks ago and is currently melting faces here at the MS Mansion — has been posted on Spotify since release date. You can listen to it here if you’re a sadomasochist. Rise to Remain’s new single “The Serpent” is up for streaming (here), as is Caliban’s entire new album I Am Nemesis (here), out today. New releases by bigger bands on the label such as Lacuna Coil, Asphyx, Napalm Death and Aborted are nowhere to be found.

If you’re Century, this move actually makes a lot of sense: since your withdrawal from Spotify in the first place was predicated on 1) low per-stream payouts, and 2) cannibalizing album sales, then posting an album that isn’t selling well (or isn’t anticipated to sell well) is a great strategy because 1) low per-stream payouts are better than nothing, and 2) there are no sales to cannibalize. And you’ve got the added benefit of all the increased awareness from Facebook feed integration and music discovery.

It’s also possible that Century has been able to work out a more favorable pay model from Spotify.

But if you’re The Devastated or Caliban, there could be reason to feel rubbed the wrong way: Century has steadfastly refused to post anything on Spotify, so this move comes off as a last-ditch effort to try and generate some interest, any interest, in your new album. You could either choose to view that as a negative vote of confidence from your label or you could see it as the people at the label actually doing their jobs to serve your best interests. Depends on whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist, I suppose.

In any case, I guess this is a move in the right direction for Century. Streaming services are not going away, CDs are not coming back from the dead, and digital file ownership seems to have plateaued so you may as well get with it or gtfo. Will Metal Blade, Prosthetic, and Sumerian (Veil of Maya gaffe notwithstanding) follow suit?


Additional reporting: Corey Mitchell

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