There’s been a lot of talk and understandable dissent surrounding Apple’s free tier payment of the reported .002 per play during each consumers 90 day free trial period. We now live in a world of lessor evils.
Here are three things that we may want to keep in mind…
Eliminating the Unlimited Free, Ad-Supported, On-Demand Access to Music is Job #1. Apple Music and Tidal are both positive steps in that direction.
.002 is DOUBLE .001 which is what Spotify is paying on it’s ad-supported free tier (see chart below). Yes, we’d love Apple to pay the full ride. Yes, Apple can afford to pay the full ride. Yes, we support any action that influences Apple to pay the full ride – but as a compromise we could be doing worse, and in fact we have been for over five years since the Spotify launch.
90 Days is Limited. Ad-Supported is forever. This is the big problem. Even if Spotify was limiting their ad-supported free tier to 90 Days, Apple is still paying DOUBLE. But the real problem is that Spotify is FREE FOREVER. It’s time to keep the eye on the prize here.
Three Steps to a Sustainable Digital Music Ecosystem:
1) Eliminate the Unlimited Free, Ad-Supported, On-Demand Access to Music
3) Tiered Pricing, based on Access and Consumer Value Proposition
That’s really it. It’s not really any harder than this and we can already see these models working for the Film and TV businesses.