There are a lot of culpable parties in this streaming fiasco.
First off, I don’t blame Daniel Ek for seeing a model that can be built, and building it.
His premise of “at least we pay, so it’s better than pirating”, is a good position.
He had already built and exited companies, so I am sure he is financially well off.
Greed wasn’t his position.
In the broad overview it makes sense: get paid something or nothing.
You can’t blame the labels, whose first job has always been keeping their companies afloat, not making music. Music was just the means, as it should be.
They had a real disaster on their hands and suddenly found adrev could replace lost recorded income, so they simply embraced it.
You can’t even blame them for demanding, and getting, an equity position.
That’s just good business, and should have been done with Apple, and iTunes, whose first job was to sell hardware.
You can’t even blame tech savvy managers for getting in on it. Again, just good business.
Like I said, I’d take pre IPO shares as well, in a flash.
But where everyone gets murky is the whole position of “this will save the music business”, which is true.
But it doesn’t address saving the content creators. That is the problem I have with it all.
Everyone, in both their enthusiasm and panic, forgot that part of the equation.
The whole lack of clarity in the real end game of the business model was lost on the creative community, and the public.
Neither of which understands big business.
I’d prefer if Ek and company said: “Our goal is to IPO”.
I’d prefer if the labels said: “We can replace loss with this.”
Both sides waved the questionable flag of: “We love music!”
Maybe so, but that is a by-product, not the target.
One of the many reasons I respect Jack Ma is he point blank said: “Our goal is to IPO and I want Alibaba to be bigger than Wal Mart, bigger than any company of it’s kind,”
He also said: “Customers come first, employees second, shareholders third.”
Content creators first, consumers second, the industry third, would work.
You also have to throw in the culpability arena, both the artist and the consumer.
They both contributed greatly to the devaluation of music, at least recorded music, in the first place.
The consumer stole and indie nation applauded it or, at the very least, said it was OK.
We need a pow wow and we need a solution, or moving forward, this game is over for every side of the equation.
Ek and Spotify keep alluding to lack of label transparency, that would be a real issue.
That is even more a problem with the labels and Google.
Adrev has simply not trickled down to the content creators.
That contract omission must be dealt with.
It hasn’t been.
Equity and IPO profit needs to be as well.
Lots of mitigating factors involved here, and there needs to be clarity, transparency, and solution.