Much like Batman’s relationship with The Joker, the music industry and streaming services have come to depend on each other.
Despite consistently being slammed for underpaying artists by just about everyone who has ever made (or sold) a record- YouTube have today reported one billion US dollars paid revenue from advertising directly to the music industry in the last 12 months.
However, advertising is just one model driving the music industry’s revenue growth (its first after many years of decline), and as YouTube executive Robert Kyncl suggests on his latest blog post, pretty soon the music industry might resemble the television industry where “where subscriptions and advertising contribute roughly equal amounts of revenue, bolstered by digital and physical sales” (while we agree with Robert’s vision, we’re not sure exactly how much longer digital sales will be a factor, given the humble record has now overtaken downloads…)
Finally, it appears that the music industry is ready to embrace streaming platforms- Radiohead (whose admittedly evil frontman once called Spotify “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse”) have finally surrendered to the streaming giant, Beyoncé’s Lemonade (a Tidal/HBO exclusive) has been nominated for 9 Grammys, alongside the first streaming-only album release…
It was only a matter of time, after all.