68.3 F
New York
Sunday, April 14, 2024
HomeArchiveSpotify And The USA. Why Not?

Spotify And The USA. Why Not?


Related stories

Homeless Hell: The Camp That Could Kill Rock History

Sunset Studio, one of the few remaining recording studios in Hollywood after many closed due to high costs and new technologies, faces a danger worse than a single wild rock star. Sunset Sound’s three studios have produced more than 300 gold records but they could be ruined by a filthy homeless camp next to the building. Garbage is stacked high, needles and pipes are scattered on the ground and homeless people use the street as a toilet.

TikTok vs Universal Music and The Music Businesses Coming of Age

Well, it’s definitely been an interesting few weeks, looking across the ballfield of TikTok vs Universal Music. What is heartening to see is that major labels such as Universal Music seem to have finally learned from previous mistakes made initially in the 1980s. 

Unleashing Chaos: How To Get Free Music- And Why The Music Industry Can’t Stop It

The same platform that brought you cat videos and cringe-worthy influencers is now the go-to place for snagging every song imaginable. Thanks to some clever websites, you can rip the audio from any YouTube video, download it as an MP3 or .wav file, and sail the seas of free music. No subscriptions, no ads, no hassle.

February Round-up: Four music events to attend

Winter holidays have passed quickly, and there are the...

Pitchfork Effect

Last week, media company Condé Nast revealed its plan...

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about Spotify and the resistance that they’re reportedly getting from major labels about launching in the US. From what I gather, the labels seem to be concerned about cannibalizing their biggest market with a free streaming service. There also seems to be a lot of chatter about whether or not Spotify would get the same kind of traction here that it has in Europe. Many pundits say that the service is not converting anywhere near enough free users into paying customers and that this is worrying the labels.

Frankly, I don’t see why Spotify couldn’t succeed in the US. The reality is that it could only succeed if the labels are willing to make it economically viable. I’m sure that their Imeem experience hasn’t given them a lot of comfort. Five years ago it was so difficult to deal with the majors for licenses that it became easier for many sites to just start up illegally, build up a ton of traffic, wait to be sued by the majors and reach a settlement that included licenses, then sell to some sucker. That strategy made a certain amount of sense at the time. The only problem was that the deals the labels insisted upon made it economically impossible for them to make it. Last week Imeem was sold last week to MySpace for bus fare.. Evidently nobody made any money.

It seems to me that everyone has to start looking at streaming services as not giving away music for free but as sampling services, just like radio. Now labels will argue that radio is different—it’s programmed and not on demand. They’ll argue that if they allow their customers to have free access to their product it will eat into their existing sales. In my view, its apples and oranges.


I’ve been looking into a lot of research lately that seems to add a lot of clarity to the current landscape. Recent studies claim that p2p users spend about 50% more on music than their non-pirate counterparts. This suggests that a large number of music fans use file sharing to sample new music. It also suggests that users prefer to own their music, not rent it with DRM or streaming. Other surveys show that people are overwhelmingly willing to pay for a subscription service if it is unfettered and priced right. Streaming services offer a new opportunity – not to up sell to an ad-free streaming service, but to up sell to a product that customers really want and are willing to pay for. 

The funny thing is that the majors have been wishing and hoping for the subscription model to take off for years now. It hasn’t, mainly due to their insistence on DRM. The industry is making progress with governments on anti-piracy issues and pressuring ISP’s to be more proactive in fighting piracy. There’s a window of opportunity now for the labels to make some real strides toward transitioning their business. Making it difficult for the Spotify’s of the world won’t help. It’s services like Spotify that generate excitement about music, and that’s needed for the industry to have any chance of rebounding.


  • Wayne Rosso

    Wayne Rosso has worked in music and technology for decades. He has worked with such artists as Aerosmith, Bee Gees, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Public Image LTD., Beach Boys, Phillip Glass, Fleetwood Mac, Rick James, New Kids on the Block, Slash, Evanescence and scores of others.


- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here