Music Business Learning?

by Hugh

This is a pretty extraordinary article from Bloomberg, nominally about the hot new music site/service, Spotify (not available in Canada or the US yet).

What was striking: the execs from the music business, including Michael Nash, Warner’s SVP Digital Strategy and Business Development, finally cottoned on that the real challenge of the music business is not to fight a lost battle against P2P, but rather to find ways to make it easier for listeners to listen to their music. Check this quote:

“These types of social media are highly competitive with illegal file-sharing,” said Michael Nash, Warner’s executive vice president of digital strategy and business development.

Sites such as Spotify allow users to access the music for free rather than searching for it on BitTorrent and downloading it illegally, Mulligan said. Spotify and the Comes With Music mobile-phone music service by Nokia Oyj, the world’s biggest handset maker, “are the two strongest tools that people have to drive a genuine alternative to piracy,” he said. [more…]

That is, the music business has finally understood that suing listeners who want to listen to their music isn’t a very sensible long-term business strategy. The better strategy is to figure out how to provide more music to those people.

P2P isn’t going away, and the music business’ success will depend on doing a better job of serving their customers than Pirate Bay does.