When you listen, the labels listen too. Especially when you’re pre-saving future faves.
Pre-saving albums on Spotify can give recording labels access to more personal user data than you might realise, an expose by Billboard has found.
Pre-saves, or what Apple calls them, pre-adds, are essentially what the industry called pre-orders in the time before the digital revolution.
Subscribers can tag upcoming album releases so that they’re entered into their libraries soon as they’re available. Users have to click and approve permissions to give labels access to do this, but through this process on Spotify, labels are given “far more account access” than the streaming titan would usually allow, says Billboard.
The investigation found the permissions could give a label access to email addresses and empower them to track what folks listen, change the artists they follow and, just maybe, control their music remotely.
In one case study, users who tried to pre-save Chris Brown’s song ‘No Guidance,’ were asked by Sony Music to allow it access to “upload images to personalize your profile or playlist cover” and manage who you follow on Spotify. Was everyone aware of this before they clicked “add”? Probably not.