the present is prelude

No on-demand streaming subscription service has enough customers to matter to the labels. The labels would starve if they had to live on the revenues. So the existing services all had to accept the deals they could get without any real leverage, and these came with brutal – barely survivable – terms.

Once some service has enough customers for the revenues to matter to the major labels, the deals will be renegotiated. $200 million dollars split between all the stakeholders in the recording industry would do the job. At $10/month that’s 20 million subscribers, which happens to be about the size of Sirus/XM.

And then things will get started for real. For now we’re still in the prelude.

3 thoughts on “the present is prelude

  1. yea, but it’s still so artificial, still based on manufactured scarcity. And remind again what the “cost” of the music is to the label that makes it soooooo hard to make profit? What’s that failure rate again? 95%?

    I get that the labels have the ‘music people want to hear.’ I get that a fluke of history is still history and that adding ‘fluke’ is irrelevant (if not redundant.)

    Meanwhile, what you’re describing, as likely as it seems, is a prelude to business as usual – prelude to the past. If the streaming services start making money, ‘get real’, then they just become the latest player is the old, faustian lottery model, only with streaming. They will have succeeded at corrupting the ‘Net while fending off the disruptive potentials for real fairness, equity, properly distributed profits and a cultural output we don’t have to apologize for.


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