The deal would have been the first time a record was limited to paid users.
Spotify pulled out of a plan to keep Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool off the streaming service’s free tier, Music Ally reports.
The album was available on Apple Music and Tidal when it was released on May 8, but isn’t scheduled to arrive on Spotify until June 17, a whole six weeks after it first landed.
According to sources, Spotify was in advanced talks with the band’s management and XL Recordings to make their ninth studio album the first to be limited to paid subscribers for a limited time.
Currently Spotify users on both free and paid tiers can access all music at the same time, but last year reports suggested the company was planning on relaxing the rules to help secure big albums in the face of competition from Apple Music and Tidal, neither of which have a free tier.
In a statement to Music Ally, Spotify’s communications head Jonathan Prince said: “We are always looking for new ways to create a better experience for our free and paying listeners, and to maximise the value of both tiers for artists and their labels.
“We explored a variety of ways to do that in conjunction with the release of Radiohead’s latest album.”
“Some of the approaches we explored with Radiohead were new, and we ultimately decided that we couldn’t deliver on those approaches technologically in time for the album’s release schedule.”
Apple Music and Tidal have both been able to secure exclusives such as Drake’s Views and Beyoncé’s Lemonade in 2016 alone, with Spotify users having to wait weeks for some albums. Taylor Swift’s 1989 is still not on the service after high-profile criticism from the artist regarding royalties.
If true, the Radiohead deal would have been an about turn for Thom Yorke, who in 2013 called Spotify “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse.”