Our Virtual Panel Looks Back on 2014 – Mike Doernberg, ReverbNation CEO
ReverbNation CEO Mike Doernberg joins us today for Hypebot.com's 2014 Year End Virtual Panel. He discusses the focus ReverbNation has placed on streaming in 2014 and what that means for them in the coming year, saying "We understand that it will impact the entertainment industry in dramatic ways, very quickly. What pique’s our interest most, is the area of talent identification, smart curation and the “packaging” of music and artists."
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?
Today, any song – and every artist – must compete for its place on a very crowded “shelf”. In essence, music has evolved from being a saleable commodity, to becoming a key ingredient in someone else’s product. The question now, is how important will any one artist be to the success of that new product? My sense is that it is less important than in other forms of entertainment. For example, Netflix without House of Cards has less perceived-value than Spotify without Taylor Swift. So unless you believe that there will be a mass exodus of artists who don’t believe that the streaming & subscription model has merit, in terms of royalties or the enormous audience exposure, Taylor Swift’s withdrawal is a fairly short-term distraction.
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?
Apple and Google know better than anybody that music is essential to building community, as well as preference, on and off mobile devices. Music consumption continues to shift from ownership to access and these developments will only serve to galvanize the streaming movement. In 2013, music subscription revenue eclipsed $1B globally and grew at an impressive 51% year-over-year. We should expect to see continued growth in streaming revenue and audience as well. Apple's integration of Beats and Google's efforts to unify Google Play Music, All Access and YouTube via Music Key underscore the importance of new strategies that move beyond the app store to gain and retain users. That said, given the diverse music consumption habits and brand loyalties of the music fans who subscribe to streaming services, I don't believe that this will be a winner take all opportunity.
3. What was the big shift or story of 2014 that will have a major effect on your business/sector in 2015?
The ReverbNation team has spent a lot of this year talking about streaming. We understand that it will impact the entertainment industry in dramatic ways, very quickly. What pique’s our interest most, is the area of talent identification, smart curation and the “packaging” of music and artists. The far-reaching economic changes brought on by music streaming have created a profound ripple effect in the industry (and the end-user experience) and a giant hole in both artist discovery and development have emerged. Sourcing great talent and developing their careers is more critical now than ever before, and ReverbNation will begin to play a major in role in these areas in 2015.
Welcome to Hypebot.com’s 2014 Year End Virtual Panel | Join the Conversation
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