Spotify responds to refund demands over OTT Drake promotion
It was inevitable that Spotify would be in deep shade with some subscribers over its OTT campaign behind Drake’s new album Scorpion.
It had risen to 435 million by Monday.
It’s understandable that Spotify would get overheated with a new Drake record: he is, after all, the service’s biggest act worldwide with 52.8 million monthly listeners.
However, Spotify misjudged the thinking of its subscribers when it plastered Drake’s face on the cover of hundreds of playlists – not only obvious ones like Rap Caviar but on those where his music did not feature—like Best of British, Massive Dance Hits and Happy Pop Hits.
Subscribers who’d paid for premium, ad-free accounts grumbled it amounted to advertising and demanded refunds.
They also felt betrayed that having paid to be offered personalised songs based solely on their tastes, that understanding was violated by an overriding commercial decision.
The backlash has rattled the Swedish streaming service.
Overnight, subscribers were claiming they had been offered an extra month’s subscription after they complained.
However it seems to have been the luck of the draw: other complainants demanding refunds were turned down.
They said they had promptly cancelled their subscriptions as a result.
Spotify has declined to comment but it seems the number of complaints was not sufficient enough to worry too much.
The OTT campaign was not the only screw-up by Spotify over Scorpion.
Reports are that the record was to arrive on Spotify and Apple Music at the same time – midnight American Eastern Time on Friday (June 29).
However Spotify was two hours late, and some fans rushed over to take out Apple Music subs so they didn’t have to wait.
In the meantime, Drake is seeing Scorpion as a work-in-progress.
By Monday there were some subtle changes to the record.
My Feelings gained new vocals from Lil Wayne, and JAY-Z’s vocals on Talk Up became louder and upfront.