Streaming is here to stay. YouTube was the first unofficial and unlicensed streaming service and it got traction to billion plus users.
All because the record labels negotiated forever to get a stake of Spotify. And while YouTube gives users access, it also allows them to upload the music they have.
MTV had this kind of power once and the artists featured on the service went from nobodies to platinum stars especially during MTV’s critical mass period of 1985 to 1993.
Or if you built some momentum, MTV took your career from a small act with a core following, to platinum darlings. If you don’t believe me, Bon Jovi went from a 500,000 album band and a million debt to the label, to a 10 million album band.
But with any service which has critical mass, how can these services get artists heard as the labels and the publishers take in all the income.
Artists should be doing their bit to get users to Spotify or any other streaming service in the same way they did commercials for MTV, saying “I Want My MTV”. And they should control their own copyrights. They will get more of the share.
Netflix understood that they cannot run a business just by licensing content from TV stations and the Movie Studios. The same way HBO realized it back in the early 90s. So they started spending to create their own content. And they made a lot of money from subscribers doing it.
And of course as expected, Disney, one of the critics of streaming early on but also one of the main content creators right now, decided they need to get into the streaming action. Add HBO to that list and people need to pick between three streaming providers.
But the biggest users of the services are between the ages of 19 and 28. Technology has been part of their life since birth. A connected audience with everything being just a click away. And if music wants to put up paywalls and take away free tiers, they are putting up resistance to a generation who follows the path of least resistance.
Music is accessed everywhere. In a persons house, their car, the train trip home from work, at work and so forth.
Now it’s all about the song. The connected music consumer doesn’t care about the catalog of songs or albums.
As for Spotify, remember that here is no Spotify without the major labels giving access to their catalogs. It’s how the major labels got a stake in the company.
So if an artist is upset about Spotify’s payments, they should tell their label to pull out their catalogs from the streaming service.
But they won’t.
As for labels, they have been creative in their accounting to artists since day dot.