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What Music Labels Learn When You Pre-Save Music

In a recent TikTok video, musician Clinton Kane riffs on the push by labels to get fans to pre-save music from artists, even before their songs are released. In the video, his management team demands hundreds of thousands of pre-saves before his song can be released. It’s surprising, but the message is clear: Labels want your RSVP before they’ll even schedule the main event.

The pitch to music fans is all about convenience. Tap save now and, when it’s released, a new song or album will show up in your library immediately. The benefits for the artists and labels are arguably greater: Pre-saving music requires direct access to your account on whatever music service you use. If you attempt to add or save music ahead of its release, a disclaimer will pop up alerting you to the potentially eye-popping amounts of data you're giving access to, from your music library and listening habits.

While listeners get convenience, developers (either labels or third-party services) get data—possibly more than you know.

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