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A Facebook User

Spotify represents an early stage template for legalized cloud based file sharing and the pitfalls and challenges that lie ahead. It also represents an opportunity for artists to step forward and demonstrate they have the power of choice and who they choose to do business with in today's world.

When fans can create playlists in the cloud and share them with their friends; the incentive to purchase music will drop, again, dramatically. Spotify's record shattering low licensing fees and the resulting drop in sales will be a devastating 1 - 2 punch and many will not survive.


Very interesting article. Every time I read about the vaunted power of the cloud and Spotify I think, "But you have to have access to a data plan or wifi connection.". I'm sorry, but until I can get music anywhere I go (the subway, basements, non-carrier regions, the moon) I'll be sticking with my iPod.

I'm not sure about your view for the near future of major labels. They have already stayed dominant in changing times and they have the connections and the marketing prowess to ensure dominance. A bigger factor that could possibly upset this is the retention of their legacy artists. If enough of their roster reclaims the rights to their masters, then the majors could have a problem.

Free album download at www.facebook.com/chancius


Spotify (and its competitors) have the ability to make tracks available offline, so your moon trip is absolutely possible.


Spotify IS the major labels

Stephen Lee

Hmmm....interesting take. I think it's way premature to think that the subscription model will surpass digital downloads. I think in order to survive the subscription model has to have a bigger audience. Ownership of good music is going to remain a constant and those companies and artist who have that ability will win from all sources because folks like myself have a subscription service and multiple players, and we want our own copies in our collections. Because we really have no filter for music right now a subscription model allows me to listen before I buy to in a sense see what's out there and then buy what I think is important to me. Sort of like what radio was. I would also like to point out that the subscription services will eat each other in order to survive....ie XM/Sirius these companies want to change the landscape but competition is competition . Look at the labels....there was a cottage industry and then the small labels were bought up by the Conglomerates...now there are just 3 majors....


It is funny to see people comment on a biz they don't know.

"Labels lose leverage with streaming..."

Majors OWN streaming. Why do you think they love it!


So, musicians should get ready because in the future the only thing they won't be able to sell is their music....

Making music takes time and effort. I expect that if consumers want to continue to listen to quality music they will eventually have to find a way for the artist who create it to make a living. In my mind, this means buying their music and not expecting to get everything for free in some kind of "promotional" loop that only ever makes lawyers and computer engineers any money. What form that will take remains to be seen, but it certainly won't be a streaming fee that pays you 0.00003 cents.

Dave Walley

iTunes is obsolete so long as sites like mp3download.pro keep popping up.

Maurice DeNoble

Bryan had you written this article in 1950 it would have been entitled, "When Radio Becomes Obsolete." Spotify still hasn't demonstrated as a company if their business model is financially viable and can turn a profit. From the way they are aggressively pounding on VC doors (and the endless stream of PR), my guess is the cash burn rate is incredible. Major labels own a minority share of Spotify, they won't make any money unless Spotify goes public, but still they may come to regret the investment. My question is why so many pro-Spotify articles and editorials on this site. Who is pulling the financial strings of Hypebot and its writers?

Clyde Smith

You're the second person to claim that "Spotify must be paying Hypebot" when Spotify is one of the biggest news items in the music industry.

I don't write about Spotify. I find the whole topic kind of boring but it seems to fascinate everybody else. There are good reasons for that but if you don't recognize that I don't have time for Painting the Obvious 101.

In any case, I'd love some Spotify money. Hmmm, maybe the boss is keeping it all for himself like the majors are doing with Spotity!

Hey, so who do you think's paying us for all the crowdfunding and EDM coverage of late? Cause obviously we're the only ones on the web paying attention to Spotify, crowdfunding and EDM!


Spotify is great for bands/musicians who intend to make their money from touring and selling merchandise. It can put your music in front of people much in the same way mp3.com and Napster did over a decade ago. It may not be great for musicians (or their heirs) controlling back catalogs or for musicians who shun public performance.

To me, it's the same as radio exposure. Plenty of fans are collectors and actually want a hard copy of an artists release. 30 years ago, anybody could use a cassette tape to record a song from the radio but fans still bought what they really liked. Look how vinyl sales have skyrocketed. It wasn't too long ago, record stores got rid of vinyl for CD's and now vinyl is what's selling again. Why? Fans want that hard copy.

I personally think artists should adapt to the availability of mediums and delivery platforms. It's not an issue of one versus the other, it's about effectively using what's available.

Dave Philp

"When we get to a sophisticated access/subscription model, artists and right holders aren’t charging their fans directly for a discrete product, but instead pandering for their plays." Thought-provoking.

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