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Jack Conte Of Pomplamoose And Patreon Looks Back At 2014

Panel LogoJack Contemulti-instrumentialist of Pomplamoose and co-founder of Patreon joins us today to Hypebot.com's year end virtual panel. When asked about effect of ubiquitous music online and what the "Taylor Swift Debate" means for music streaming he says "No - the debate won't change anything, but artists pulling out of Spotify will." Conte goes on, "So many financial models are crumbling for artists right now - they're going to go where they get paid, as they should." Continue reading for more from Jack Conte. 

1) Do you see the current debate questioning the effect of ubiquitous free music online leading to real change? Or is the Taylor Swift debate just a short term distraction? 
Pomplamoose
Pomplamoose

No - the debate won't change anything, but artists pulling out of Spotify will.  If artists continue to practice windowing using Spotify as the 2nd window, it will slowly become the "sale bin" at Target - the B records, the stuff that's cheap but not new and exciting.  Spotify could reverse that by incentivizing artists to use Spotify as the first window - but that will most likely take better overall payouts or individual bonus deals.  So many financial models are crumbling for artists right now - they're going to go where they get paid, as they should.

2) How important are the entry of YouTube Music Key and the expansion of Beats Music within the Apple eco-system?And will they lead to a much larger streaming music audience by the end of 2015; or a just fragment a steadily expanding user base?

Google has always experimented with streaming, and with YouTube.  If it's not Google+ it's YouTube Music Key or Google Play.  One way or another, Google will continue to leverage YouTube to build entry points into new markets.  It doesn't mean it will work.  The same is true for Apple and Beats.  However, for better or for worse, streaming as a behavior and cultural movement will continue to grow rapidly - there are too many smart people figuring out how to make it work, and it's too valuable for consumers.

3) What was the big shift or story of 2014 that will have a major effect on your business/sector in 2015

I've had an increasing number of conversations with people about the "5 things your boss does to tick you off" type headlines, and the increasing presence of click bait, fluff, and otherwise disposable "content."  The world is hungry for meaning.  There will always be a place for fluff, but there will always be a place for beauty, too.  The pendulum of the web has swung toward fluff in the last few years - 2014 pointed to a growing unrest and an upcoming back swing.

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