By making some content exclusive to Apple users, the platform may actually be driving piracy in the music streaming world. People are faced with the choice of buying the album outright or finding an illegal version online. Artists often enter these exclusivity deals for the extra money from the deal, but in the long term, artists risk losing money to illegal downloads.
The use of exclusives has been condemned by various artists too. Lady Gaga has been a vocal opponent to exclusives, saying in 2016: “I told my label that if they signed those contracts with Apple Music and Tidal, I’d leak all my own new music."
Exclusives are seen as a way for the artist and the service they sign with to make more money at the customer's expense. Exclusives limit and alienate parts of the artist's audience, creating long term damage to the artist themselves.