Sony Music hints at future Spotify breakaway, shattering streaming as we know it

Whether you’re a Spotify subscriber, prefer Apple Music or you’re going the Tidal route, the benefits remain much the same: unlimited access to tens of millions of tracks from all of the major record labels.

However, you might look back on these times as the halcyon days of streaming, before you were required to buy different subscriptions to access different artists. The head of Sony Music Rob Stringer told the BBC the future may include a rival streaming service that would feature its back catalog of a century of music.

Stringer said the relationship with Spotify is currently mutually beneficial, but he isn’t ruling anything out in the future as pertains to a Sony Music streaming service.

“We have hundreds of thousands of tracks going back 100 years, so we have quite a lot of leverage,” he told BBC Radio 4.

“Do we want to take all our stuff off a major streaming platform? No… because we have an arrangement that’s working for both of us at the moment. But the next chapter, which might be in five years, who knows?”

Sony currently owns the rights to the music of industry greats like Michael Jackson and Queen, as well as the rights to more modern artists like Kanye West and Drake.

Related: Spotify vs Apple Music

Such a move towards a standalone streaming service would be a nightmare for consumers now accustomed to accessing all of their content under one roof.

Stringer’s comments appear to be in reaction to Spotify’s recent move towards signing its own artists directly. Stringer suggested that Sony might begin withholding some of its library if the streaming pioneer continues down this path.

He added: “From our point of view, it’s all about timing. Maybe we will do something that will give us more control over distribution. But you can’t argue that in this particular chapter, Spotify [are] leading the way. They built a robust and futuristic distribution model.”

Would you subscriber to streaming services from individual labels? Or would Sony’s hinted plan be the end of streaming as we know it? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.