Is it time for the bash­ers to give Spo­tify a break?

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News -

IMUST HAVE missed the memo from my record la­bel bud­dies about the need to crit­i­cise Spo­tify at ev­ery pos­si­ble junc­ture. That’s how it felt over the last year when talk turned to the most prome­nient mu­sic stream­ing ser­vice in the busi­ness. Ev­ery sin­gle time, Spo­tify’s low re­turns were high­lighted.

A lot of this was a left­over from the in­dus­try’s deal­ings with Ap­ple. It took ages for the record la­bels to re­alise that the late Steve Jobs had played them for suck­ers. Lead­ing mu­sic in­dus­try ex­ecs, al­legedly the first and last word in cun­ning, were blind­sided by the man in the polo-neck look­ing to use mu­sic to flog his iPods.

The la­bels were adamant that they would not be fooled again and thus adopted a more bullish ap­proach when the stream­ing ser­vices came to do deals.

But Spo­tify has be­gun to fight back against the neg­a­tive spin. One of the most in­ter­est­ing out­comes from the re­cent Emily White/David Low­ery to-do – young in­tern writes naive blog post, old mu­si­cian at­tacks her and blames her for death of other mu­si­cians – - were rev­e­la­tions about the in­creas­ing amounts Spo­tify pay la­bels (re­mem­ber Spo­tify deals with la­bels not artists).

Ac­cord­ing to Charles Cal­das from la­bel dis­trib­u­tor Mer­lin, Spo­tify’s pay­ments to their 10,000plus la­bels rose 250 per cent be­tween March 2011 and 2012. Given that Spo­tify is just begin­ning to make in­roads in the US, that rev­enue can only in­crease.

All of which makes you won­der if it’s time for the bash­ers to give Spo­tify and the other stream­ing ser­vices a break. It’s ob­vi­ous that in­creas­ing num­bers of main­stream mu­sic fans are em­brac­ing th­ese ser­vices with gusto due to con­ve­nience and cost. The la­bels may look back fondly on the days of flog­ging CDs for a pre­mium, but those days ain’t com­ing back. Time to play nice with Spo­tify and friends.

Steve Jobs: ‘looked to use the mu­sic in­dus­try to flog his iPods’

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