Artists want you to pre-save their music, but should you?

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You may have noticed a trend in artists releasing music on streaming platforms. On Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, artists are asking their fans to “pre-save” new releases. What is it and should you do it?

What is “pre-saved” music?

If you’re not familiar with pre-caching, this is how it usually goes. An artist asks his fans on social media to pre-save an upcoming single or album. This request is accompanied by a link to a third party website with buttons for Spotify, Apple Music and any other platform they use.

Pre-Saving Website.

When you click the link to the service of your choice, you will be prompted to allow the site access to your streaming account. There are a few different pre-save services that artists use, but they all work this way.

What does it actually do? Essentially, it’s like pre-ordering without actually ordering anything. When the music is released – whether it’s a single or a full album – it will appear in your library immediately. Some services will notify you of new music from your favorite artists, but not all do. Pre-saving can be a good way to make sure you know.

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It’s all about data

Pre-saving isn’t just about convenience. When you register, you have to give the pre-saving service a terrifying amount of data. This data goes to the artist’s record label or a third-party service.

Here’s an example of the data Universal Music receives when you connect your Spotify account to the Pre-Saving Service.

Pre-save permission on Spotify.

Your name, country, username, email, subscription information, how many followers you have, public playlists, listening history, and explicit content preferences. You also give up the ability to make changes to your profile and playlists.

It might appear that the pre-save website is an official thing associated with Spotify or some other streaming service, but it’s not. At the time of writing in July 2022, no streaming service has pre-caching built in.

Aside from the privacy concerns of all that data going to third-party services, there’s also some value to the artist. Just like pre-ordering a new phone, it gives artists an idea of ​​how popular the new music is. It’s also a way to build hype ahead of release.

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Should you save ahead of time?

With all these privacy concerns, is it a good idea to pre-save music via a random third-party site? That depends on how much you value comfort.

If you follow an artist enough to see the call to pre-save, chances are you’ll also see when the music is actually available. However, if you’re worried about missing out, pre-saving can be a great way to make sure you don’t miss out.

At the end of the day, saving up front is like a lot of compromises we make online. If something is free, there’s a good chance you’re paying with your data. Maybe that bothers you, maybe not.

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