And don’t overlook the return for the artists making the music. Musicians can collect more money from downloads than from streaming services, at least at first.
“Even a 99-cent download is a relatively high margin transaction compared to micropennies, where payments aggregate over time,” Future of Music Coalition chief executive officer Casey Rae wrote in an email. […]
For labels, distributors, and artists alike, a better connection to fans—plus knowing how fans listen to music and what they want from artists—may mean a better service overall, which could translate to more revenue. But, even with the direct connection to artists, Apple Music will still face stiff competition in its fight to become the dominant platform. In that fight, there’s a danger that it may wind up less concerned with the success of smaller, independent artists than beating its freemium competitors, such as Spotify.
“Artists want to believe that whatever the new platform is will have meaningful impact,” says Casey Rae, the CEO of the Future of Music Coalition, “but I don’t know how much Apple cares about that.”
Apple is getting into the popular music-streaming business today — but Spotify, Google Play, Pandora and even public radio stations are already there. Although several musicians have been skeptical of the digital-music market, like Taylor Swift they’re allowing Apple to stream its songs — with the potential for reaching 100 million people with iPhones. Can the company that invented iTunes persuade a generation of music listeners to actually pay? Casey Rae is CEO of the Future of Music Coalition, a nonprofit advocating for artists.
[…]“(Streaming) is not about demand or the Internet being good or bad, it’s more about the value we put into it and how to foster what we get out of it to make sure some of it gets back to the creators,” Future of Music Coalition CEO Casey Rae said.
Rae says streaming also raises important questions about access to art as more and more music, movies, TV and other art is distributed online: Who gets to put a price tag on culture?
“If you’re paying more than $100 for an Internet connection and more for mobile plan, how much money does someone have for a streaming subscription?” Rae said. “There are bigger questions about the economics of cultural production that haven’t been resolved, and streaming is one of them.”
[…]Over the past year, Merlin has also struck several major deals that run counter to what major labels have been willing to do. It recently agreed to work with SoundCloud, the massive streaming site that has been described as the YouTube of audio while also drawing criticism for widespread copyright infringement. Before that, it signed a deal with Pandora, which previously hadn’t reached deals directly with labels, opting to use so-called compulsory licenses where the rates are set by the government. In its deal with Pandora, Merlin agreed to per-stream rates that can be lower than it would have gotten otherwise, in exchange for a commitment from Pandora to play songs from its labels more often. read more
When the Billboard chart-topping winner of seven Grammys speaks, apparently Apple listens. Apple very quickly pulled an about-face late Sunday night, with Apple VP Eddy Cue tweeting that “Apple Music will pay for artist streaming, even during customer’s free trial period.” Following this several independent label groups announced they would be signing on to Apple Music, including Worldwide Independent Network and Beggars Group. read more
[…]SHAHANI: Late last night, executive Eddy Cue tweeted out, Apple Music will pay artists for streaming, even during customers’ free trial period. We hear you, @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple
And so ends some bad blood.
CASEYRAE: And all props to Taylor Swift for pulling this off.
SHAHANI: Casey Rae is CEO of the Future of Music Coalition.
RAE: It is really, really remarkable that she was able to influence Apple to change a fundamental business decision. read more
[…]But, as The Future of Music Coalition reports, independent music labels deserve some of the credit for Apple’s reversal as well. “It wasn’t just Taylor Swift,” Casey Rae of the Future of Music Coalition told NPR. “There was a huge chunk of the indie label community that was simply not willing to let Apple have a free pass.”