The discussion around Spotify and music streaming in general is heating up. Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify and explained, “I’m not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists, and creators of this music.”
On the flip side, we’ve seen reports claiming that in Europe, some artists are making more money from Spotify than they’re making from iTunes.
Streaming is a game-changer for the music industry, but there still isn’t a business model in place that makes everyone happy.
At a Web Summit conference in Dublin, Adele’s manager Jonathan Dickins added his two cents to the conversation: “Personally, I think streaming’s the future, whether people like it or not, but I don’t believe one size necessarily fits all with streaming.”
“Spotify have always been pictured as the bad guys in this,” he said, “but the biggest music streamer out there is YouTube, without a doubt. If I make a search now for Taylor Swift on YouTube, give me 30 seconds and I can have the whole Taylor Swift album there streamed. Some of it’s ad-supported, so there is revenue, and some of it’s not.”
Dickins continued, “On the one hand, labels are trumpeting YouTube as a marketing tool: 10 million views on YouTube and it’s a marketing stroke of genius. But on the other hand they’re looking at 10 million streams on Spotify and saying that’s x amount of lost sales.”
He went on to say that he believes some artists should be able to make deals with Spotify to allow their albums to be accessed by paid subscribers only.
“Streaming will be ubiquitous in five years. We are going now into a streaming model. Whether you want to be in it or not, within five years it will be everywhere. That something does not become about buying any more. It becomes about consumption and it becomes about access… and that hasn’t been done before.”