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Spotify Helping Industry Fight Illegal Downloads?
The Quietus , April 1st, 2009 07:42

People now borrowing music rather than stealing it, survey shows

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New figures seem to show that music streaming sites like Spotify are helping to curb what had been a rising tide in illegal downloads and peer-to-peer file sharing.

A survey conducted by market research crew NPD Group reported that in the US those aged between 13 and 17 acquired 19 per cent less music in 2008 than they did in 2007, whether that be through the buying of CDs (down 26 per cent), paid-for downloads (down 13 per cent) or file-sharing networks (down 6 per cent).

Use of streaming sites, however, was up from 34 per cent to 52 per cent.

Spotify has not yet been launched in the US and its rapid rise to prominence in the UK could be seen as a sign that the number of people streaming free music on the web, rather than downloading it for keeps, will increase again in the coming months.

Reimbursing labels with funds raised through ads and paid-for membership schemes, could it be that Spotify has hit on a winning formula for the future of music distribution?

“"With popular music sites like Pandora, imeem, and MySpace Music complementing offerings by terrestrial and satellite radio, more teens may be getting their fill of music and feeling less compelled to buy music or share it with others," according to NPD egghead Russ Crupnick.

"Perhaps the next wave for teens comes when just listening to music replaces purchasing actual files, which might end up creating new revenue streams, such as brand- and ad-supported music."

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Daniel Patrick Quinn
Apr 1, 2009 4:59pm

great april fool! here you are musicians, labels, producers, engineers. tuppence for your efforts instead of nothing. perhaps you ought to look into what this means in reality for in the music industry and not just those 'talented' few that work in the spotify office.

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John Doran
Apr 1, 2009 5:49pm

Settle down DPQ, you'll spill your drink, waving your arms round like that.

I'd sooner the pandora's box of P2P file sharing hadn't been opened but surely, now that it has, an artist getting 2% of not that much is better than them getting 0% of not that much.

It still remains to be seen what (if any) effect Spotify and the like will have but I'm cautiously welcoming it as the first sign of green shoots.

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Daniel Patrick Quinn
Apr 1, 2009 7:33pm

Well Mr D, it depends what 2% of not that much actually amounts to. In the vast majority of cases I can't see it even covering the costs of engineering, producing and mastering, let alone anything else. Perhaps, just perhaps, it represents the turning of the tide toward a viable industry model but personally I'm yet to be convinced. Until quality music is regarded financially as of some significant worth (more than a bit of loose change), or at the very least can be self-funding rather than loss-making, there will be hundreds of missed opportunities, potential greatly unfulfilled etc etc. And that really is a huge cultural tragedy. But then again I live in the dark ages and still reckon 15quid is a bargain for a bloody good album.

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james purser
May 11, 2009 10:12pm

I strongly disagree with Daniels comments. 94% of all music is purchased illegaly, this is the way to combat that fight, there is no point trying to train people to pay for music, it simply doesnt work.
For labels this is a great thing. Sites like www.dittomusic.com put your content onto Spotify for FREE,
With the amount of traffice you get on Spotify and with the new 7digital link, a lot of people are listening on Spotify, discovering new music and purchasing elsewhere.

Its the prehistoric views of people like Daniel that has made the industry slowly die over the last ten years.

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Robert Dunn
Mar 13, 2010 2:32am

In reply to james purser:

I completely disagree with the last post - Spotify pays approx. 1000th of the revenue of an iTunes download. That's pitiful, and not sustainable.

Record labels (indie and majors) all rushed to join the latest new thing and didn't think about the consequences (once again).

We're bringing-up a generation of kids who don't expect to ever have to pay for music again. Sites like Spotify are not the answer.

The only thing that's going to work here is some kind of monthly fee added to our internet tariffs. This fee would cover you to download/stream as much music as you wanted to. It might be ugly and people will complain, but a set monthly amount that goes to a collection society to be redistributed back to artists/labels is the only viable model in our p2p crazy world.

Of course I'm not saying this will be a great thing, far from it. But it will save the "music industry" and as soon as they can convince govts/isps to go along with them, it'll happen.

As with all music collection agencies, MCPS, PRS, PPL, the majority of the revenue will be redistributed to U2, Madonna, Arctic Monkeys and Lady GaGa, while the smaller, more creative artists suffer from lack of return of revenue. The money is never distributed fairly, and a new collection agency is likely to be as unaccountable as these other behemoths.

It's a flawed concept, but it'll happen.

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