We’ve been saying for a while that we’re not opposed to music streaming as concept so much as we are about the revenue models and royalties. We’ve offered our criticisms that the math just never really adds up, even if you scale out Spotify to it’s logical conclusion.
We’ve also offered our suggestions for how these streaming services could offer a more robust and diverse environment to both artists and consumers. Looks like we’re not the only ones seriously questioning the economic validity of these models.
The streaming era is the next music industry ice age.
Beyond their broken business model, these companies share a lot of dubious promises to investors, shareholders and artists. Rdio hopes to get in the black by luring in more ad-supported subscribers. Spotify promises that when it scales up to 40 million paid users—it’s currently at 6 million—that artists will get paid five times what they make from the service today (the math works out, but that 40 million figure is a big “if”). Pandora, unprofitable and crippled by royalty fees as its user base grows, promises that mobile ad revenue can offset the revenue it’s hemorrhaging.
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