Amazon Music are getting into exclusives with a new series working with independent labels to create music just for Amazon.
Exclusives on music streaming services are a contested issue. In 2016 and 2017 services, like Apple Music, started experimenting with purchasing music for exclusive release on their platform. It quickly garnered criticism from the likes of the Chinese government and Universal Music CEO Lucian Grainge went so far as to ban exclusive releases from any artists signed to UMG.
Since then services have moved away from the idea for the most part, but exclusives are still a thing – streamers are just getting creative with them rather than throwing money at a new release. Amazon’s new ‘Produced By’ series will do just that by getting in Grammy award-winning artists in to record exclusive new recordings.
The series will see Amazon pair producers with some of the world’s top artists, like Al Green, to create and record brand new recordings. Interestingly, Amazon are relinquishing the recording rights of the tracks to the artist or their label and not keeping the copyright for themselves, just releasing the music to listen to only on Amazon.
The newest release comes from 10-time Grammy-winner and soul legend Al Green, his first track in a decade – ‘Before the Next Teardrop Falls’. The track was produced by Memphis-based producer Matt Ross-Spang after his work on ‘How Lucky’ by John Prine and ‘Leftovers’ by Margo Price on Third Man Records. Ross-Spang’s series concluded with a track from William Bell.
Ross-Spang says of the ‘Produced By’ series: “As first and foremost a music fan and now as a producer, I’ve always been drawn to artists with unique voices whose gift transcends genre and time. I’m excited and honoured to play a role in this innovative opportunity Amazon Music is providing these extraordinary individuals. As my hero Sam Phillips said: ‘If you’re doing something different, you’re not doing anything!'”