In what is likely his final interview before leaving Warner Music, Bronfman defended Spotify’s ability to drive more value for artists and labels. “Everywhere we look, Spotify is incrementally positive,” Bronfman said. Later in the discussion he noted that the streaming music startup is “a real and growing revenue stream.”
Rediscovering the joy of music
I don’t know if you can relate to this, but something odd happened when I got really involved in music. I kinda lost interest in great music while I was busy being ‘in the music industry’. Argh!
Musicians don’t dance
Ages ago, when I first started going to concerts, I was one of those kids who would try to get as close to the stage as possible. I’ve seen quite a few famous musicians up their nose (or skirt) that way, and was mightily impressed most of the time. Mind you, no dancing was involved as we were all crushed against the barriers bij the crowds behind us. Which was fine by me, I was kind of shy that way.
Once I started playing in bands myself, I would regularly state that musicians don’t dance. Because it wasn’t cool. And I would often find myself mesmerized by the sounds, skills and performance by the band I was watching, trying to ‘get’ how they did it. But I could still enjoy music, both live and recorded. As a matter of fact, I remember some instances where I actually got chills down my back during concerts, and the odd sensation of tears welling up every now and then when the band dit extremely well.
Music Industry people have no taste of their own
As I got involved with Lopend Vuur (the Dutch indie music blog that Ard Boer and I started in 2006), my focus shifted from creating my own music to finding interesting, engaging music that was ‘worth our time and attention’ on the blog. I adopted a new set of criteria, apparently. Criteria that were more geared towards how others would appreciate the music we selected, I presume. I hardly noticed, apart from a tendency to want to go out to see bands live less often than before. But that could also have been caused by getting older, getting into a relation, getting involved in a more intense work life…
I did joke about it to some people. Whenever someone would ask my opinion on the latest hottest bands, I regularly said that I knew all the local bands, but none of the international bands that they were referring to. When we founded New Music Labs, and my music involvement became even more businesslike, it even got to the point where I lost interest in a lot of the ‘classical’ albums. Stuff that I had liked all my life went into a dark little corner of my mind.
I did enjoy some new music, though. My appreciation for regular guitar bands waned, but my interests in Rap, Drum ‘n’ Bass and even Dubstep increased (but I still wouldn’t dance to it).
Happy accidents do happen, even to musicians
A lot happend, in 2010. New Music Labs evolved, changed gears and Ard and I decided in the summer of 2010 that we would leave him at the steering wheel. I would take a step back and manage the shareholder’s interest for De Ondernemers BV (my main company. A difficult step, because I did (and do) love the fact that I was able to start a company about music. But Ard is the real dealmaker, and New Music Labs will undoubtedly excel under his guidance.
The other thing that happened, though, were Podspeakers. As a present for my 40th birthday, I got a wad of money that allowed me to finally complement my home hifi-system (NAD) with a pair of decent speakers. And I was rewarded with a whole new experience, one (I realized then and there) that I had missed for some time: awesome music!
Since then, I have once again enjoyed a number of great live shows, and listened to a lot of great music, from CD or through Spotify. And last week, Jeff Buckley brought tears to my eyes. The curtains have been lifted.
Major Labels in the USA fly the flight of the Dodo
If these claims are true, than Major Labels in the USA have only themselves to blame if they can’t get rid of Apple iTunes Music Store supremacy.
But what about Rdio? Did they have to come up with the same huge advances?
However, Forrester research analyst Mark Mulligan suggests that a few of the major labels may have set their advances so high that it would be impossible for Spotify to meet their demands without endangering their path to profitability. In other words, in a weird way, we should rejoice that Spotify didn’t launch, as it could’ve been a near suicide mission. As soon as we got Spotify, we could’ve very well lost Spotify too. Sadly, Europe may be the safest place for them now.
Spotify might be safe, but, one day, the record industry may wake up sorry.