Justin Moore, Brantley Gilbert Remove Albums From Spotify - Rolling Stone
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Spotify Loses Streaming Rights to New Albums by Brantley Gilbert, Justin Moore

Following Taylor Swift’s lead, other best-sellers are shaking off free streaming websites

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Brantley Gilbert and Justin Moore perform at the 2014 CMA Music Festival

Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Days after Taylor Swift pulled her entire catalog from Spotify’s archives, more country stars are following her lead. Jason Aldean was the first in line, choosing to quietly remove his most recent album — the record-breaking Old Boots, New Dirt, which was streamed more than 3 million times during its first week — rather than his full discography. Now, two new artists have also decided to shake it off: Justin Moore and Brantley Gilbert.  

Like Swift, Moore and Gilbert are both signed to Big Machine Label Group, a company that’s always been wary of streaming services like Spotify. When Gilbert’s Just As I Am hit stores in mid-May, Big Machine kept it away from Spotify for 60 days. Although it’s impossible to measure the effectiveness of that move, Just As I Am wound up selling more than 500,000 copies during those first two months.

Today, if Spotify users search for Just As I Am, they’ll find the following message: “The artist or their representatives have decided not to release this album on Spotify. We are working on it and hope they will change their mind soon.” Only “Bottoms Up,” the album’s first single, can be streamed on the site.

The same goes for Justin Moore, whose chart-topping Off the Beaten Path is now represented on Spotify by a single track: “Point at You.” Moore’s album was released over a year ago, meaning his decision to yank it from Spotify was probably prompted less by financial goals and more by a decision to stick it to the man. 

Speaking of which, Man Against Machine — Garth Brooks’ highly-publicized comeback album — is also unavailable on Spotify. That’s old news, of course; Brooks has never been a fan of streaming services or online music stores, and even launched his own company, GhostTunes, to cater to those fans who wanted to buy his music digitally. Still, with the newly un-retired Brooks joining Swift and Aldean at the top of country music’s best-sellers list, Spotify is left trying to play ball without three of its heaviest hitters. 


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