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Taylor Swift prompts Sony to re-evaluate support for music streaming services


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Sony is re-evaluating its stance on music streaming services following Taylor Swift's much-publicised spat with Spotify.

Chief financial officer of Sony Music, Kevin Kelleher, has revealed that the company is weighing up its continued support for music streaming services. It comes in the wake of pop star Swift pulling her entire back catalogue from Spotify and speaking out against perceived unfair artist payment rates.

"Actually, a lot of conversation has taken place over the last week in the light of that," Kelleher said at a recent investor briefing. "What it all really comes down to is how much value are the music company and the artist getting from the different consumption methods."

While Sony appears to be reappraising its position on such streaming service, though, don't expect it to take as negative a stance as Taylor Swift. In fact, Kelleher revealed that his company was "very encouraged" by the performance of music subscription services to date.

In fact, Sony Music expects revenue to rise to the region of $4.8 billion to $5.2 billion in the next full fiscal year.

Of course, this seems to play into previous criticisms of Spotify and its ilk from artists such as Swift and Thom Yorke. The Radiohead frontman claims that Spotify represents an unwelcome bail-out of the old music label giants (such as Sony Music), providing a major source of income for them as physical format sales dry-up.

Sony's issue, it seems, is whether the free-access portion of services like Spotify is impacting on potential profits. "The key question is, are the free, ad-supported services taking away from how quickly and to what extent we can grow those paid services?" said Kelleher.

Taylor Swift may have gotten Sony thinking, then, but that thinking doesn't appear to be along similar lines.

Read More: Why musicians hate Spotify

Via: WSJ


November 18, 2014, 1:24 pm

Maybe Sony's streaming efforts would be more profitable for them if they weren't so shit. I have been a premium paying customers of Spotify, Google Play Music Access All Areas, and Sony's Music Unlimited at different times over the last couple of years, and in my experience, Sony's version doesn't hold a candle to the others. This is based on the stability and performance of the Android app, and the fact that swapping between online and offline listening requires a reboot of the app.

This sounds like lashing out when focused self criticism leading to improvement would be a better response.

Prem Desai

November 18, 2014, 1:37 pm

I sort of like Taylor Swift's music (or been made to by my teenage daughter constantly listening to her stuff loudly!!).

However, I'm not sure what's she playing at? Does she think she's bigger than the world of streaming?

Rightly or wrongly, streaming music is on the up. It seems that this is what people want.
Whilst everyone has different requirements and circumstances, I know that by subscribing to Spotify, my monthly CD budget has been slashed by over 90%.

If Taylor Swift or any other artist decided to take their music off streaming services in an attempt to force people to buy their CDs, then it ain't gonna happen. They also need to realise that because of streaming services, their audience is much wider.

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