Warner Music CEO Warns Against “Burning Freemium at the Stake”

spotifyburntstake

Warner Music Group sucks at making money, though they did make a small profit last quarter.  Part of the reason is streaming, which now brings in more money than downloads.  With that in mind, Warner Music CEO Stephen Cooper had this to say to a group of investors and stakeholders.

______________________________________

Q2 2015 Warner Music Group Earnings Conference Call, NYC.
Monday, May 11, 2015, 4:30 pm EDT.
(Q&A Session)

Moderator: Our next question comes from the line of Davis Herbert of Wells Fargo Securities.

Herbert: Good afternoon everyone, thanks for taking my questions.  There’s been a lot of debate about the freemium versus premium models, especially with Apple’s pending launch of a premium product.  Do you feel like the industry is in more of a position to proactively move away from the ad-supported model?  And second part of that question is, Spotify and others have said if that’s the case, there would be a resurgence in piracy, and I’m just curious if you believe that, thanks.

Stephen Cooper (Warner Music CEO): Let me start with just our particular point of view, as opposed to an industry point of view.  You’d have to cast a much wider net to get the industry point of view, Davis.  First of all, there are a lot of models out there, and all of those models — ad-based, subscription-based, or with both — are better than piracy.

You know to be crystal clear, piracy is zero revenue, it’s the theft of intellectual property, and it’s not good for anyone.  So all of these models are better than piracy, that’s number one.

Number two, the freemium models, if they encourage the adoption of subscribers, if they encourage the movement of subscribers from ad-based models to subscription-based models over time, we at Warner believe that’s good news.  We are working with a number of our digital partners to see if there are ways in which that adoption — that is the adoption from ad-based models to subscription, you know if you’re an individual on the ad-based model — if that can be turbo-charged though modifications in service offerings, of more sophisticated approaches in the consumer market.  So we don’t believe that there is just one size that fits all.

With respect to going to a strictly subscription world, I think that you can find evidence that when music is not generally available, that people will seek out sites on the internet that in fact will offer up that music for no charges, and in many instances, with no economic model, where income flows to the content owners, the artists, or the writers.

So I think that before people conclude that freemium should be burnt at the stake, we should think very carefully about the consequences.

Herbert: Understood, very good commentary.

 

Image by Robert Benner, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).

64 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    “So all of these models are better than piracy”

    Yes, Spotify’s freemium model is better than piracy — if you’ve got a Warner-sized catalogue.

    If you don’t, it’s not.

    Reply
    • Yep

      No matter how big your catalogue, freemium pays more than piracy – fact.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        On the contrary — you sell far less iTunes downloads if you’re on Spotify.

        Reply
        • Paul Resnikoff
          Paul Resnikoff

          It’s funny. I’ve heard the argument that there’s actually not much difference between ad-supported streaming and piracy, that payouts are both negligible. In fact some artists prefer ‘piracy,’ just look at Pretty Lights and BitTorrent Bundles.

          Reply
          • streaming is a lie for legalized piracy

            If removing the free tier increases piracy it just proves streaming is not the future, download to own is… funny how this isn’t really about the delivery technology but about price, as in free… hmmm…

    • Sam

      I make the same amount of money whether someone steals it, or streams it on Spotify…give or take .0001 cents or so…

      So the Spotify model is definitely better for Spotify, but it doesn’t do shit for me – you know – the guy creating music for everyone else to profit on.

      I’d much rather have some kid steal my music, and me make no money on it, than have some big-ass corporation of tech douchebags who know absolutely nothing about music making money from it while I make nothing.

      So no. Not a better model. The piracy model was way better because it was a very small model. They threw around really big numbers that looked big on the page, but they weren’t shit. Most people still bought music. I used to steal records from Fed-Mart when I was a kid. Tons of us did it! I mean like literally, at least 5 people I knew did this! But guess what? More than 5 people bought records from Fed-Mart.

      The biggest problem is that everything they say is just bullshit bent to put money in the wrong pockets. Fuck ’em.

      You wanna let people stream my music, make them pay for it. If you’d prefer to cater to their little “Gimme what I want or I’ll cry and post about it on my blog” mentality. Fuck you, and fuck them. And to those who actually give a shit about music and artists – have a nice day! 😀

      Reply
      • Yep

        Any artist who isn’t making at least $20,000 a year on Spotify right now i.e in 2015 – either has a really bad streaming strategy or makes really bad music – fact

        + yes I am talking about through a label, even on a 90/10 split in favour of the label.

        Reply
        • Yep

          And…I am talking about the combined efforts of all streaming services (both freemium and paid) to total 20K per year.

          It can be done.

          Embrace the future

          Reply
          • Anonymous

            [Em-brace the fu-ture]

            Tech speak for:

            1. Your music is worthless.
            2. All your music are belong to us.

          • Anonymous

            ‘Tech’ – A collection of techniques, methods or processes used in the reproduction and distribution of sound recordings.

            E.g: long playing records, compact discs, mp3’s, streaming.

          • steveh

            By my calc you are saying that any artist worth his salt should be generating more than 40 million streams a year – probably well more if you are including youtube. (NB. using your 90/10 label split)

            That’s more than 100,000 streams a day.

            You cannot be serious. Are you really saying if you get less than 100,000 streams a day you’re a worthless loser?

        • Anonymous

          You make way more money from iTunes sales when you’re not on Spotify, that’s just a fact.

          Reply
          • Sam

            Without a doubt – and by a lot! I’m not big enough to be of any consequence to Spotify, but I am big enough to be of consequence to myself. I am not releasing my new album to Spotify. In the long run I will make WAY more money, and Spotify will get exactly zero dollars from me. Everybody’s happy, well maybe not Spotify once a TON of us smaller people start doing that in addition to the big shots, but we’re happy – and Spotify’s happiness is of no consequence to us. And for the “embrace the future”, “streaming is here to stay” idiots: 1. Quit parrotting back what read on blogs ran by people who have nothing to do with music, and 2. I’m releasing to every STREAMING service without a free tier. I’n not anti-future or anti-streaming. I am however, anti-being a revenue stream for people whose only interest is to gain revenue.

      • Anonymous

        “I make the same amount of money whether someone steals it, or streams it on Spotify…give or take .0001 cents or so…”

        That’s what I meant:

        Spotify’s freemium model works for Warner — but not for individual artists.

        Reply
      • jw

        If that’s the case, I’m not sure Spotify would miss you terribly. You’re free to remove your music from the service. Your fans may have an opinion about your move, but I doubt Spotify will notice a difference.

        Reply
    • luci

      What Warner Music Group is really saying is “let us sell this thing Spotify, which we have an equity stake in before we make any changes.”

      Artists just don’t get it. They are being used. Pull your music in protest of record companies owning Spotify and other tech companies.

      Reply
      • Paul Resnikoff
        Paul Resnikoff

        That’s an interesting point. Pull the freemium, and you’re also pulling the IPO prospects. Which means a lot less money when the cashout comes.

        Reply
    • Willis

      So what you are saying is that piracy is better for individual artists and those with smaller catalogs? Really?

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        No, it’s the same thing. But you sell considerably more downloads if you’re not on Spotify.

        Reply
        • Willis

          Are you trying to sell getting paid nothing versus getting paid something as being the same thing? Really? Cmon. Also, I’d like to see this research that proves the sales you suggest in iTunes of an artist – Spotify against piracy.

          Reply
  2. FarPlay

    Unfortunately, because the major labels accepted or demanded an equity stake in Spotify, anything they have to say on freemium is clouded by what could be an excellent pay day for the labels. Secondly the labels made the deal and opened the door to this problem to begin with.

    What the labels should have done and need to do now is get feedback from their artists. Not just their high selling artists. No reason, other than lack of understanding of the marketplace and poor marketing, that Spotify, Pandora, etc. should have been allowed to maintain this flawed “free forever” strategy to begin with.

    Granted the music industry got the biggest negative hit from online distribution, but as exemplified by Mr. Cooper, these guys continue to make knee jerk decisions to long term problems.

    Reply
  3. jw

    Surprisingly wise words from WB.

    Premium streaming growth all but disappears without ad-supported streaming funneling new users into the system. The idea that people are going to, in any meaningful number, jump straight from the ownership model to premium streaming is absurd. Maybe if things had transpired completely differently over the last 15 years, but not at this point. Anyone hoping to return to older models is out of touch with the consumer.

    Perhaps I’m just optimistic, but I have to believe that it’s the biggest music fans (and thus the heaviest digital downloaders) who have adopted premium streaming, so of course that’s going to replace digital downloads. Hopefully, premium streaming will eventually “cannibalize” all digital download revenue. The expectation that streaming should have explosive growth, & that digital downloads should also continue to grow, is silly. You can’t have your cake & eat it, too.

    It’s also important to note that doing away with Spotify’s ad-supported tier might be great for piracy, but it might be even better for YouTube, who pays out less than Spotify. At least Spotify’s free tier has proven to funnel users into a paid tier.

    There may be better ways to onboard premium streamers, & there may be ways to generate more ad revenue from free streaming, but I don’t see the model succeeding without an ad-supported tier. And the streaming model failing is the worse case scenario for the music industry.

    Reply
  4. GGG

    I don’t get what the big deal about letting artists/labels choose is. PLENTY of artists will still choose to put at least some of their tracks on a free tier. I think most DIYs/indies would (possibly after a week or so of windowing), but any act who still needs to cut through the endless clutter of music will probably keep some, if not all, their music on a free tier.

    The acts that wouldn’t would be the ones that people would probably get people to just say “fuck it, I’ll join” the most.

    At the very least, at least it gives a little more incentive to join. Clearly less ads isn’t enough.

    Reply
    • jw

      I would assume the thinking is that allowing artists/labels to remove songs from the free tier makes it more difficult for Spotify to compete with YouTube for the discovery-minded or casual or curious users. And you can’t transition those users to the premium tier if they’re over at youtube.com listening to songs that are premium-only at Spotify.

      In general, I think Spotify is wise to use the experience as the incentive for moving up to premium, rather than the content. The numbers seem to bear this out.

      Reply
      • FarePlay

        How can you ignore a law that is so broken it actually protects the criminals and punishes the innocent?

        Everyone keeps comiing back to YouTube as the spoiler in pushing the marketplace to improve conditions for artists. And we all agree that YouTube is using the take down, pez game to be the go to site for everything. There really is no valid argument for not changing the take down provision to address the actual content as opposed to simply removing a file.

        The unintended consequence this law has created, allowed to fester for a decade and a half, needs to change and it needs to change now that all rules and regulations pertaining to copyright are under review. Piracy needs to be a felony with real jail time. Not a slap on the wrist like the principals at Grooveshark received.

        Reply
        • Anonymous

          “Piracy needs to be a felony with real jail time. Not a slap on the wrist like the principals at Grooveshark received.”

          Here’s some great news, FarePlay:

          A federal judge just said that there’s nothing wrong with how anti-piracy company Rightscorp and its clients are using subpoenas to identify film and TV pirates and has dismissed a claim they are abusing the legal process.

          Rightscorp may still have gone a bit too far as they actually used tons of automated calls to cellphones in pursuit of settlements, 🙂 but that doesn’t change the fact that this is a huge victory for artists all over the world. (Rightscorp’s an awesome company and you easily can use it as an individual musician.)

          You can find the story in Billboard and elsewhere.

          Reply
          • FarePlay

            I did read that. What I’m proposing would provide artists and copyright holders with a one time notification policy that clearly identifies offenders very quickly. Had it not been for a desperate e-mail from the principals at Grooveshark directing their employees to upload copyrighted content, there would have been ruling.

            Will many of these pirate sites continue to operate after receiving thousands of these notices? No question, but at that point Rightscorp and others have the needed laws to go after them and or direct Google, et al to block access. As it stands now we’re asking Google to block “alledged” pirate sites. Same goes for financial processing companies and advertisers. Bit Coin will become the go to site and many people and even more corporations want anything to do with Bit Coin.

            Stop piracy? Never. Put a serious hurt on the key players? Definitely.

          • FarePlay

            Paul, where’s that edit feature for those of us who type too quickly on touch screen devices? That’s right I’m blaming you because I got it wrong, although I’ve been here long enough for most people to know what I meant to say, I would expect.

            Sent from my iPad

            “….Had it not been for a desperate e-mail from the principals at Grooveshark directing their employees to upload copyrighted content, there would have been NO ruling.”

            “…..Bit Coin will become the go to site and many people and even more corporations DON’T want anything to do with Bit Coin.”

            Stop piracy? Never. Put a serious hurt on the key players? Definitely.

          • Anonymous

            Because literally every social media company Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, Reddit, PInternet would be illegal. Your problem FarePlay is not that you don’t know that, it is you see nothing wrong with it. But Congress, as stupid as they often act, is not stupid enough to sacrifice the US tech sector so musicians can maybe sell more CDs.

          • FarePlay

            Let the person who made the work decide what happens to it. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. Why should creatives be treated any differently than anybody else? Pretty basic, really.

        • jw

          At such time that copyright is reformed, it may make perfect sense to remove content from Spotify’s free tier. But until that time comes, supposing it ever even does, I will continue to ignore it as a justification for removing content from Spotify’s free tier.

          You’re really horrible at debating. lol.

          Reply
          • Anonymous

            The problem is FarePlay’s copyright reform proposals either amount to (1) make all websites that allow for user generated content to be illegal or (2) solve a general AI complete problem. He doesn’t even try to dispute this, ever.

          • FarePlay

            “The problem is FarePlay’s copyright reform proposals either amount to (1) make all websites that allow for user generated content to be illegal”

            This is a fair use issue, not what I’m dealing with.

      • GGG

        Maybe I’m being stubborn, but I don’t think audio-only is dead nearly as much as our favorite anonymous poster. I get that video is incredibly important now, but the navigation of using YT for music is still pretty obnoxious.

        Reply
        • Sarah

          I agree that audio-only is still quite popular – I generally prefer it myself. But I agree with anonymous’s point about choice: if both video and audio-only are available for a song, give the user the choice of both (and video necessarily includes the lesser audio-only option).

          Reply
    • Me2

      It’s wealth extraction thinly wrapped in a collectivist moral stance.

      But its a collective where the workers don’t see the benefits.

      Like Google who were going to save humanity by appropriating access to every single book ever written, with or without the authors consent, the idea of one entity trolling all of the world’s music is equally reprehensible.

      Permission is key here. If creators do not have the right to say no, to choose, then do they have any rights at all?

      Reply
      • jw

        You’re off your rocker, man. Big time.

        Silicon Valley/Wall Street are pumping funds into Spotify which are in turn being passed along to rights holders. A company that is paying out 70% of revenue to rights holders is not some “wealth extraction” scheme… the wealthy are actually deeply invested in the service & haven’t made a penny. Outside of the salaries that Spotify employees make, rights holders are the only people making any money off of Spotify, & a HUGE portion of that is coming straight out of the pockets of the wealthy.

        Wealth extraction. Collectivism. Cry me a river. How this kind of dogmatic self-pitying BS came into vogue is beyond me.

        The bottom line is that if you’re not making money off of Spotify, Spotify is in turn not making any money off of you. Clearly, everyone wins each time a free user is upsold to a premium subscription, which is what Spotify is ultimately aiming for. Well, everyone wins except for artists whose music isn’t in demand. And I think that’s where a lot of resentment for Spotify really comes from… delusions about the demand for one’s own music.

        Reply
        • FarePlay

          Interesting point. I don’t know whether it is paid advertising, ‘balanced coverage’ or whatever, but the Spotify Top 5 which I see often, because it’s on the landing page of DMN, has listed Ed Sheeran in the top five for nearly six months and Rihanna’s FourFiveSeconds, since at least the Grammys.

          I only bring this up because I’ve always believed that interactive music streaming for most people, but probably no one reading this, is a dead end for discovery. I know they have millions of choices, but human nature is such that most people are comfortable listening to the music they know.

          And if that isn’t a music killer, I don’t know what is.

          Reply
          • GGG

            I don’t think it’s any more a dead end for discovery than anything else. Not to mention, I think it’s more about the ability to actually hear stuff you discovery there or elsewhere, moreso than actually being used as a discovery tool.

            Granted I’m not the best example as an average music listener, but even for me, I’ve discovered artists/songs on here though related artists, top lists, genre lists, etc, but I’ve definitely listened to more artists after seeing them/hearing about them elsewhere.

            That’s where I defend the concept of “all music” where some people on here think that’s no good. And I actually think it’s better for music. I’ve found a number of bands I’m a legit fan of now, on Spotify. And most of those I never would have listened to beyond a single because I can’t afford to buy 10 new albums a week. Sure, you can loop back into the financial argument, but some no-name band can certainly gain a ton of traction through streaming, which could then spill into sales/touring/etc.

          • jw

            Wtf are you talking about?

            I’m talking about Spotify’s finances & you’re talking about Kanye West & the Grammys? Are you intentionally trying to derail legitimate discussion with petty, poorly developed arguments about discovery?

          • FarePlay

            This is what I’m talking about. You wrote it, correct:

            “And I think that’s where a lot of resentment for Spotify really comes from… delusions about the demand for one’s own music.”

          • jw

            So you agree that the “wealth extraction” argument is retarded, & you agree that a lot of the Spotify resentment comes from artists’ delusions about the demand for their music, but you’re blaming Spotify for that?

            lolol.

          • Me2

            I think you missed the point of what I said? It was in response to GGG asking what the big deal is in letting artists decide (which Spotify tiers). The answer is quite obviously because they are competition with YouTube to be the service with all of the music for free.

            If a grocery store ‘passes along’ 70 percent (or whatever) of their revenue for food supply, no one really sees this as anomolous. Food is the only product they’re in business for. But Spotify should get a medal…

            I think you also missed the point positing digital collectivism as a convenient dogma by the tech lobby. It is their rationalization to morally justify the massive conversion of IP and private information into the wealthiest companies in the history of business. Looking in Google’s direction here.

            Any decent remarks about what Google tried to pull with the books? Or property rights? Didn’t think so.

            I’m uncertain as to who ‘started’ this ‘dogmatic self pitying bs’ but there are some fairly cogent observations in the books of Lanier, Levine, Keen, Morozov… if you’ve gotten through one of their books, you might agree that they’re pretty far from ‘retarded’.

            Same top 5 all year? I’ll leave it to others to explain why, but I can see how players with only a mere several million spins might not like having a shot. Perhaps Spotify doesn’t need them, perhaps they don’t need Spotify either.

          • jw

            I don’t think I missed your point at all. You characterized Spotify as a wealth extraction scheme, which is only true if you define wealth extraction as wealthy people pumping money directly into the pockets of rights holders. I’m not saying Spotify deserves a cookie for passing 70% of revenue along to rights holders, I’m just saying that’s not wealth extraction, by any reasonable person’s definition.

            Also, I fail to see how criticisms of Google ought to stick to Spotify, or in any way justify the argument for limiting content on the ad-supported tier. Google & Spotify are different companies with different agendas & different strategies. If you want to debate the merits of Google’s book venture, I think that’s a terrific conversation to have, but this isn’t the thread for it. The reality is that any rights holder is free to remove his/her content from Spotify. That Spotify has specific requirements or catalogs the content a specific way is merely a reflection of having a business model. This is no different from Apple managing specific price points on the iTunes store, which is hardly any form of collectivism.

            I think Lanier, Levine, Keen, & Morozov would all agree that you are at best misapplying their concepts, & wrongly conflating different tech companies doing completely different things. Spotify is neither Google nor Napster, & you can’t just mix & match criticisms across the tech sector.

            If any artist doesn’t need Spotify, they ought to put their money where their mouth is & remove their content from the service. If Spotify really needs them, they’ll likely reach out to negotiate some sort of compromise to keep the content on the service. If Spotify doesn’t need them, then they’ll simply go on their merry way. Again, that’s not collectivism, that’s capitalism.

          • mE2

            These are all good points. I especially agree with your last, that the nature of contracts and freedom of choice are capitalism. You are correct to point out that the Spotify model and agenda is different from from Google’s. If anything, they’re playing a friendlier game than YouTube is where music is concerned. I’m quite surprised Spotify has been getting the most attention, complaints and pull-out’s etc.

            The reality of the market is that Spotify, Apple and any other services are directly competing against YouTube as the dominant player in the music streaming space. Furthermore, companies who don’t play whack-a-mole are hamstrung in some respects, not to mention that they are lacking the Google infrastructure and those perks of search and steering etc.

            Meanwhile, Google, who deploy a massive campaign at govt and education to keep copyright laws in their favor and spread “open culture” dicta are the ones setting the tone. Musicians can’t complain, it’s stigmatized. They’re simply seen as selfish for not allowing the world to share in all the music which belongs to everyone.. THAT is the collectivism of which I’m speaking. And that is why Spotify is under competitive pressure to keep the free tier and have everything on it. This is what GGG was asking in the first place. Hope this clarifies,

          • jw

            GGG wasn’t asking anything about Google, he was specifically asking why Spotify wouldn’t allow artists to opt out of the free tier. Don’t act like you weren’t wildly mischaracterizing Spotify.

            It sounds like you’re walking this back to what was my initial response, which is that “allowing artists/labels to remove songs from the free tier makes it more difficult for Spotify to compete with YouTube for the discovery-minded or casual or curious users.” And that’s a fine point to agree with.

          • Me2

            It does touch on your point which is a good one. I’m only trying to describe the dynamics of the online space, insofar as it is a wealth extraction mechanism. I wasn’t intending to single out Spotify, though it can probably be read that way. If anything, Google would be the pace car here, and their competitors are now in a position where they competing with free, unlimited catalog and are forced to respond to that with their own models. Not sure if I can make it any clearer.

            Last I checked, Ek was worth something like 500M, Pandora execs received something similar over the last few years. Google is the richest business in history, but YouTube still isn’t “profitable”. Labels are playing both ends by demanding equity in the services when they can. Companies sell for a fortune. Goldman is in. Payout is low.

            Meanwhile the question as to the financial sustainability of the streaming space, or the suggestion that wealth is being extracted is somehow crazy.

          • jw

            The “online space” isn’t a “wealth extraction mechanism.” The internet is fundamentally a place of aggregation, & there’s more money taking 30% of millions of transactions than there is taking 70% of a few transactions. That doesn’t make it wealth extraction.

            Daniel Ek is “worth” $400m+, but most of that isn’t real wealth. It’s just speculation based on the interest of investors. He’s worth $400m+ why? Because he’s “extracted” that wealth from artists? No, it’s because Goldman Sachs et al are willing to underwrite the business. In fact, his “wealth” grows each time Spotify secures a round of funding PRECISELY because he’s got to pay licensing fees. So he’s going out & securing funds to dump into the pockets of rights holders, & as a business man negotiates a lower percentage of transferred ownership in return for the capital (& therefore a higher valuation of the company, thereby increasing the speculative value of his shares), & you perceive that to somehow be “wealth extraction?” Artists are only in this equation in so much as they necessitate the capital.

            Clearly you have very little understand of how things work. Speculated wealth cannot be extracted wealth because it’s not yet earned wealth. Daniel Ek’s actual salary, so far as I know, is very reasonable for a tech CEO.

            Pandora is the same. I think $750,000 is a pretty high salary for Westergren, but the board approved it & honestly even committing half of that to licensing wouldn’t be a drop in the bucket. No one would notice a difference except for Westergren. Otherwise, money made by selling ownership can’t be viewed as “extracted.” If I decided to buy $1m worth of Tim Westergren’s P stock, it’s not as if I’m paying him when I otherwise would’ve bought $1m in music. That money was never going to end up in the pockets of rights holders, so it’s therefore not “extracted.” The argument that artists have a claim to that money is bullshit, & is very, very, very anti-capitalism.

            You could make the argument that the perception of value of these companies is bolstered by the low payouts, but there’s no indication whatsoever that these payouts are artificially low, & therefore it is economic forces that determine the payouts & the speculative value is therefrom derived. The value of a play & a rights holder’s claim to revenue is tied directly to the willingness of consumers to pay subscription fees or corporations to pay for advertisements. Speculation about the value of ownership does not impact the payout rate. When you invoke the “wealth” of these executives, you’re in-effect suggesting that artists should be paid in ownership shares, & that the value of their plays should reflect not just the value to the consumer or advertiser, but should be bolstered by the speculation (reasonable or not) of investors. That is retarded.

            Like you mentioned earlier, if a supermarket passes 70% of it’s revenue on to product manufacturers, it’s not lauded for it. Just the same, if a supermarket goes public & generates millions or billions of dollars for its shareholders, they’re not required to give that money to the guy growing tomatoes or what have you, despite the fact that without the products, the supermarket would never have gone public.

            The arguments that artists make when it comes to Spotify/Pandora/et al are just unprecedented, & show a TOTAL lack of understanding of how anything works.

          • Me2

            I was talking about internet protocol. If you had mentioned route aggregation or DNS servers you could have made a point. Instead you make a long list of businesses. Read it again.

            I don’t always a disqree with you. I’ve said I’ve agreed with you on many points. Read that again.

            If you can’t get that at a comprehensive level, how much weight can your discretion hold as to how accutately authors’ concepts are applied?

            Guess I’m used to discussions with a less condescending tone.

            Out.

          • Me2

            “In general, I think Spotify is wise to use the experience as the incentive for moving up to premium, rather than the content. The numbers seem to bear this out.”

            I think you said it here.

            Its a non level playing field for Spotify to compete with YouTube’s “user generated” model on the basis of content.

            Look at what happened with the Tidal “exclusives” showing up on YouTube. We can critique Tidal, but the fact remains that a new(ish) company was in effect stripped of it’s ability to offer exclusive content. I’d call that anti-capitalistic at heart. And this is the sandbox we all have to play in.

          • Me2

            Hey jw. Again some great points. You have pointed out some of the fallacious thinking that have come from artists. I kinda chuckle at the idea of coming down hard on Ek and Westergren, because as I’m sure you’d agree their salaries can’t be compared to those in big data or banking, but as they say, if you really want to make good money, do something other than music.

            Of course we know that artists wouldn’t participate on the speculative value, unless they had equity, which is what makes the Tidal thing interesting, at least at surface level.

            I’d question the assumption that the Internet is inherently a place for aggregation. A place for access undoubtedly. But there is money in aggregation, which makes certain business models lucrative, though this is not something that is necessarily built into the Internet protocol. Aggregation existed long before www.

            I’m not 100% convinced that payouts aren’t artificially low, that would be a bit naive. But as you are getting at the actual value of a spin is likely nowhere near where some would like to think.

            Bottom line is that a rights holder doesn’t want to participate they don’t have to, ideally. This is the case with Spotify and most others. YouTube not so much. This is stuff that I think is anti-capitalistic. Maybe anti trust is more applicable terminology. I’m also a bit concerned about where label equity in the streaming services may lead the market.

            Unless you think monopoly and oligopoly is true capitalism. I don’t and neither did Adam Smith.

            Good talk

          • jw

            Why do you keep disagreeing with me? You’re pretty much wrong about everything.

            >> I’d question the assumption that the Internet
            >> is inherently a place for aggregation. A place
            >> for access undoubtedly. But there is money
            >> in aggregation, which makes certain business
            >> models lucrative, though this is not something
            >> that is necessarily built into the Internet
            >> protocol. Aggregation existed long before
            >> www.

            What is Google? Aggregation. What is Facebook? Aggregation. What is Spotify? Aggregation. What is Pandora? Aggregation. What is Netflix? Aggregation. What is Ebay? Aggregation. What is Amazon? Aggregation. The internet is fundamentally about cataloging & sorting data. An artist could set up a site where they stream their own albums & take 100% of the revenue. But consumers are always going to go to the service that aggregates all artists. There’s all sorts of efficiencies in aggregation. And there is more money, like I said, in being the aggregator than there is in being the content creator… in taking 30% from everyone’s transactions than in taking 70% from transactions involving your own content. That’s not wealth extraction. (To be absolutely clear, the internet is fundamentally about aggregation when it comes to content delivery. Clearly, there are exceptions like personal banking.)

            >> I’m not 100% convinced that payouts aren’t
            >> artificially low, that would be a bit naive. But
            >> as you are getting at the actual value of a
            >> spin is likely nowhere near where some
            >> would like to think.

            It’s actually naive to think that they ARE artificially low. You’re going to have to make a very convincing argument as to why Pandora (who is beholden to stock holders) or Spotify (who are beholden to investors) aren’t trying to maximize revenue. That’s not just something you can take for granted. You sound like a conspiracy theorist when you just assume such things. (To be clear, I’m not saying that revenue, & therefore payout, is yet maximized, I’m saying that it’s genuinely low given the age of the model & considering the economic forces at work.)

            >> I’m also a bit concerned about where
            >> label equity in the streaming services
            >> may lead the market.

            >> Unless you think monopoly and oligopoly
            >> is true capitalism. I don’t and neither did
            >> Adam Smith.

            You sure drop a lot of names for having little to no ability to apply these writers’ concepts.

          • Me2

            I was talking about internet protocol. If you had mentioned route aggregation or DNS servers you could have made a point. Instead you make a long list of businesses. Read it again.

            I don’t always a disqree with you. I’ve said I’ve agreed with you on many points. Read that again.

            If you can’t get that at a comprehensive level, how much weight can your discretion hold as to how accurately authors’ concepts are applied?

            Guess I’m used to discussions with a less condescending tone.

            Out.

      • Anonymous

        “Like Google who were going to save humanity by appropriating access to every single book ever written, with or without the authors consent, the idea of one entity trolling all of the world’s music is equally reprehensible.”

        Man, don’t get me started on the book-scanning project…

        Most disgusting Google scam, yet.

        —————————————
        🙁 The real Anonymous 🙁

        Reply
        • Anonymous

          Yea holy shit how dare Google allow people to search in the contents of all the world’s books. That’s not like a totally fucking amazing technological advancement for knowledge or anything.

          Reply
          • Me2

            How about a camera, mic and GPS on everyone? You would be able to search and see ANYONE at home or wherever they are ANYTIME. Access to all the worlds people! What an amazing fucking advancement.

          • Anonymous

            Na that’s just crazy. Nobody would walk around with something like that in their pocket.

          • Sarah

            a totally fucking amazing technological advancement

            That, in and of itself, is not a persuasive argument for (or against) anything done by a business that imposes costs on others.

            You know what else would be a totally fucking amazing technological advancement? Mind control. Or even just body control.

            I love technological advancement and knowledge as much as the next person (usually more). But when you start trampling on other people’s rights, “technological advancement” and “knowledge” just aren’t persuasive arguments on their own. Yes, that’s a relevant benefit, but only one of the many factors to be considered.

  5. py

    i think spotify if afraid because they know that a $9.9 per month premium optin is way too expensive and worse more you have to be paying for it month after month even when the songs u listen does’nt change for months.
    i believe itunes is even way cheaper than a premium $9.9 streaming service

    Reply
  6. py

    premium streaming has shown that it can’t go mainstream with very few users willing to pay $9.99 monthly subscriptions ,and the only backdrop is the free tier which spotify still offers as a loophole to keep themselves in the game,but otherwise they can’t survive without the freemuim.if it wasn’t for freemium ,spotify would have already died in its 1st year

    Reply
  7. blastjacket

    Has anybody stopped to think that Warner’s could just be plain cold and no matter how they offer their frontline releases nobody will care? It’s happened before and will continue to happen no matter who you are as a label.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Verify Your Humanity *