The Wall Street Journal and other business news outlets are reporting that the much anticipated Spotify initial public offering may not look like what everyone was expecting and may end up not looking much like what almost everyone was thinking it would look like. If you asked anyone in the music business over the history […]
Another insightful post by the author of Free Ride! We’re looking forward to Mr. Levine turning his attention to the racketeering at Facebook.
As Spotify begins to prepare for an IPO, which sources say the company is planning for late 2017, the relationship between the Swedish streaming giant and its trifecta of major-label frenemies (Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group) is going through some drama.
Finding compromise is more important than ever for both sides. Spotify needs the majors’ vast catalogs and without long-term deals in place, it would be hard for the company to go public — which it essentially has to do in order to satisfy the terms of a financing deal.
What do you expect from people who steal from songwriters? Where is the Justice Department now?
The past 72 hours have been especially fun in the world of streaming exclusives.
On Friday, Bloomberg ran a story which accused Spotify of actively ‘burying’ the promotion of stars who have windowed their music on Apple Music or Tidal.
Spotify has done so, said the report, by excluding artists and tracks from its highly influential playlists, in addition to demoting them from search results.
The Swedish service has now hit back at the article, calling it “unequivocally false”.
Well, to be precise, Spotify says that the allegation of it burying search for Apple/Tidal-friendly artists is “unequivocally false“.
That’s because the other bit – the bit that suggests Spotify is blackballing these artists on its top playlists – is completely true.
There’s no debate here. We’re telling you, it’s happening.
Just ask Katy Perry…
Perry’s big comeback single – her first for two years – is called Rise.
You may or may not have heard it. That’s kind of the point.
Newly married Spotify Chief Executive Daniel Ek is coming around to the idea of compromise.
The streaming leader is discussing making some new music available only to paying subscribers in hopes of ending a months-long impasse with the major record companies, The Post has learned.
The recent change of heart for Ek — who said “I do” to Sofia Levander in lavish nuptials over the weekend in Italy’s Lake Como — stems from a desire to make Wall Street happy, sources said.
As part of its negotiations, Spotify wants to lower its revenue split and make its finances more attractive to potential investors.
Spotify wants to hand over less than 50 percent of its revenue to the labels, sources say. Right now, it pays them as much as 58 percent of revenue.
“There are two things being discussed — windowing and rates. It’s a bit of ‘we’ll compromise if you compromise,’ ” said a source familiar with talks. “They’re tech people and they want to get rich.”
A combination of factors have gotten Spotify where it is now. Market conditions, bad management, arrogance, stiffing songwriters and getting too big, too fast. Until all those things change to one degree or another, it’s likely that the Spotify IPO myth will remain just that.
Since the launch of Apple Music Spotify has been on a not so secret “lawfare” campaign against Apple by trying get federal, state and EU authorities to investigate Apple for antitrust violations.
As performers and songwriters you should be concerned about this for two reasons:
Apple Music as an all subscription service pays more than Spotify.
But more importantly, antitrust rules and laws as interpreted by the Department of Justice are now being routinely used to further entrench dominant companies like Amazon and to force creators to accept ridiculously low payments for their works.
Another insightful article from Stuart Dredge!
So what have we learned from Apple Music’s first 12 months, and how it it likely to evolve in the coming year – and beyond?
1) You don’t need a free tier to get people to pay
Apple’s main rival Spotify has always argued that its free service is a great way to persuade people to upgrade to a £9.99 monthly subscription. It has 30 million subscribers as evidence,. But by growing to 15 million subscribers in a year with no permanent free tier, just a three-month free trial, Apple Music has shown there’s an alternative way.
The assumption in the music industry that people needed at least six months using a free streaming service before they’d consider paying for it seems to have been wrong.
That may show the power of Apple’s brand – plus its ability to preload Apple Music on every iPhone and iPad with that free trial – rather than the sheer quality of its service. Still the speed of adoption is impressive.
Photograph: Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images