Garth Brooks, the legendary country music icon, has signed an exclusive deal with Amazon Music, meaning his catalog will not be available on other major streaming services like Spotify. This surprise move has left many fans wondering – why isn’t Garth Brooks on Spotify?
Background on Garth Brooks’ Music Career
Garth Brooks is one of the most successful country artists of all time. Since releasing his self-titled debut album in 1989, Brooks has gone on to sell over 157 million records worldwide, making him the best-selling solo artist in the United States. He has released 21 #1 hit singles and has won numerous awards including 2 Grammys.
Some of Brooks’ most popular songs include “Friends in Low Places,” “The Dance,” and “The Thunder Rolls.” He is known for his high-energy live shows and bringing an arena rock style to country music.
After taking a hiatus from recording and touring in the early 2000s, Brooks returned in 2014 for a new world tour and released his album Man Against Machine – his first new studio album in 13 years.
Garth Brooks’ Perspectives on Streaming and Digital Music
Unlike many musicians today, he was initially hesitant about embracing digital music and online streaming services.
In 2007, Brooks was involved in a dispute with Apple over their iTunes music store. Brooks did not want to allow individual song purchases and wanted to only release full albums online. The country star did not reach an agreement with Apple and his catalog was not available on iTunes until 2014.
In 2016, when asked about the possibility of joining Spotify, Brooks commented:
“We just don’t want to be on streaming services for a financial reason…
It has nothing to do with the fans.”
He expressed concerns about getting fairly compensated as an artist on digital platforms. Many saw Brooks’ deal with Amazon Music in 2022 as the singer finally came around to streaming.
Garth Brooks’ Deal with Amazon Music
In July 2022, Garth Brooks and Amazon Music announced an exclusive partnership. This deal brought Brooks’ entire catalog of studio albums, live recordings, and more to Amazon’s streaming service.
Some key details about his Amazon deal:
- Exclusive: Brooks’ music is only available to stream on Amazon Music and nowhere else. His catalog will not appear on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, etc.
- First Time on Streaming: This marked the first time Brooks’ music has been on an on-demand streaming subscription service.
- Length: The deal is for 5 years, keeping Brooks exclusive to Amazon through 2027.
- Releases Included: The deal features Brooks’ entire existing catalog, any new releases during the deal, and even vinyl reissues of Brooks’ albums.
So in exchange for keeping his music exclusive to their platform, Amazon likely provided Brooks with substantial financial incentives and control over how his music is presented digitally.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek’s Reaction
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek expressed disappointment about Brooks’ Amazon deal on an investor earnings call:
“It’s hard to compare us to Amazon Music because they don’t disclose anything meaningful about their service…The only thing we know is that even with that catalog, they continue to be well behind us in market share and engagement.”
This highlights the intense competition between the top music streamers like Spotify and Amazon to lock down exclusive content. While losing out on Garth Brooks’ stings, Ek emphasized Spotify’s overall strong growth and larger catalog depth.
Why Fans Want Brooks on Spotify
Many country music fans have expressed frustration online over himself not being on Spotify. Here are some of the main reasons they want him added:
- Convenience: Spotify is the most popular music streaming app with over 456 million users. Fans want easy access to Brooks’ hits.
- Playlists: Fans can’t add Brooks’ songs to playlists on Spotify. This limits sharing and discoverability.
- Cost: Some don’t want to pay for another streaming service just for Brooks.
- Brand Loyalty: Long-time Spotify users feel left out by exclusivity deals with other platforms.
How Music Streaming Exclusives Work
Exclusive deals like Garth Brooks’ partnership with Amazon Music have become common in the music streaming wars. Platforms fight to attract big artists and keep them away from competitors.
Some other recent major exclusives:
- Drake signs a deal keeping his music off Spotify for initial album releases.
- Neil Young removed his catalog from Spotify over COVID misinformation concerns.
- Podcaster Joe Rogan’s show is exclusive to Spotify.
- Taylor Swift pulled her catalog from Spotify for years before returning.
These types of deals give artists more control and platforms more power to draw fans. But they also frustrate consumers who want access to everything in one place.
Will Garth Brooks Ever Be on Spotify?
It is unknown if he will ever bring his catalog to Spotify, but here are the possibilities:
- Stays Exclusive to Amazon – If the partnership goes well, Brooks may re-up with Amazon Music for another exclusive deal after 2027.
- Joins Multiple Services After Deal Ends – Brooks could go non-exclusive in 2027 and distribute his catalog across Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, etc.
- Early Move to Spotify – If Amazon deal terms change, Brooks could join Spotify before 2027. But not likely given his stances.
Overall, Brooks’ music won’t be playable on Spotify until at least 2027 unless something major changes. Fans may have quite a wait ahead!
Garth Brooks shocked the music industry by signing an exclusive 5-year deal with Amazon Music in 2022. This means the country superstar’s catalog is not available on leading streaming platforms like Spotify.
Brooks had long been skeptical of the financial fairness of streaming services, which likely motivated his Amazon deal. But many of his fans are frustrated that they can’t listen to his hits on Spotify which they already pay for.
Music exclusivity wars between Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon will likely continue as they fight over top artists. For now, the only way for Brooks fans to stream his music is by subscribing to Amazon Music.
Unless another bombshell announcement happens, don’t expect to hear his classics like “Friends in Low Places” on Spotify playlists anytime soon.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are some of Garth Brooks’ biggest hits?
Some of Brooks’ most popular and iconic hits include “Friends in Low Places,” “The Dance,” “The Thunder Rolls,” “Shameless,” and “Standing Outside The Fire.” He has had 21 #1 singles on the country charts.
How many records has Garth Brooks sold overall?
He is the best-selling solo music artist in the United States, having sold over 157 million records worldwide. He ranks only behind The Beatles globally.
When did Garth Brooks first sign up for streaming?
Brooks resisted streaming and digital downloads for years. His catalog first became available on streaming in July 2022 when he signed an exclusive deal with Amazon Music.
What was the reaction from Spotify executives about the Amazon Music deal?
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said he was disappointed to lose out on Brooks’ catalog but emphasized that Spotify still maintains a much larger overall listener base compared to Amazon Music.
Can Garth Brooks’ music be listened to on Apple Music?
No, as part of Brooks’ deal to keep his catalog exclusive to Amazon Music, it is not available to stream on Apple Music either. The only way to stream Brooks’ music is via an Amazon Music subscription.