Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’ Is Now On Pandora (Still No Spotify, Though)
Now that it looks like Frank Ocean pulled a fast one on his label by sneaking in Endless to free him from his Def Jam contract so that he could release Blond “independently” (“independently,” because Apple may have footed the bill), the album takes on significance beyond just the art. It touches on many of the issues of the digital streaming economy and the industry’s struggle to assimilate, with Universal planning to ban all streaming exclusives and talk of Ocean being sued. Mainly, though, it brings up a point which has been floating about for a while now, at least since Apple bankrolled Drake‘s “Hotline Bling” video: Do big artists even need labels anymore?
And just as Blond opens Pandora’s box, it is now available on Pandora. Pitchfork reports that the album is available on the platform, which means Apple didn’t score a two-week exclusivity window after all, which would then lead to the question “what did they pay for?” And now you have to wonder if this is in reaction to Universal’s decree, or if it was part of Ocean’s wider release strategy all along. The album still isn’t on Spotify, but it can’t be too far off, but anyway, now a lot more people get to listen to the thing and formulate their own hot takes.