This week, the chairman of Warner Music lashed out against online music streaming services such as Spotify, LastFM and We7. Warner's CEO, Edgar Bronfman Jr, said: "Free streaming services are clearly not net positive for the industry and as far as Warner Music is concerned will not be licensed. The get all your music you want for free, and then maybe with a few bells and whistles we can move you to a premium price strategy, is not the kind of approach to business that we will be supporting in the future".
This is yet another episode in the troubled relationship between music companies and streaming music services and communities, which are largely ad-driven. Last year, for instance, the position of the music industry led to the demise of Fabchannel, a company that provided live-streams of concerts.
Meanwhile, some of our customers are successfully providing music streaming services, seemingly having a good relationship with the music industry:
- Aristo Music is a music company that develops new selection and distribution technologies for digital music and provides music services with high added value. Their KBC Radio is an example of how a music streaming service doesn't have to depend on ad-revenue.
- The Ancienne Belgique, our Belgian rock temple, has been live streaming concerts - of both international and local artists - for a couple of years now and is still going strong. The AB also provides an on-demand streaming platform for new and upcoming artists to showcase their talent. Their next live concert is scheduled for Wednesday February 17th and will feature The XX.
So congratulations to our customers. They are the living proof that streaming music services can also be in the interest of the music industry.