America may be losing its footing on the global stage, but its importance to the music industry remains paramount.
That is, for any venture, artist or investor seeking a serious global footprint. According to the IFPI, the United States easily topped the worldwide ranking in 2009 with recording retail sales alone approaching $8 billion. That handily cleared second-place Japan ($5.5 billion) and dwarfed the third-place UK ($2.2 billion).
In fact, the US market in 2009 was larger than that of the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Austria, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, and Sweden combined, also according to the same stats.
No wonder EMI wanted Robbie Williams to cross the pond so badly. “Breaking America” was a leading objective behind the massive, 360-degree deal inked last decade, regardless of whether things tee-totaled financially. Just talk to executives inside the label at the time, not the post-deal revisionists – or worse, those harboring some sort of Anti-American sentiment.
But this is not about the political stage, cowboy diplomacy or obese SUV-driving Americans. It’s about making money, regardless of who’s whipping out that over-extended credit card. And that is exactly why Spotify keeps banging on the stateside door, why Daniel Ek keeps giving the media inaccurate timetables, and why Spotify investors are getting a bit nervous. Edgar Bronfman isn’t waging two wars, but he is part of an executive group making life very difficult for the latest freemium gamble. And, in the end, Ek and Spotify’s investors can’t risk repeating a Robbie Williams outcome – not at this valuation, not at this level of expectation.
Paul Resnikoff, Publisher.
Enlarged version here.