Taylor's Swift's Success Heats Up 'Streaming New Music' Debate
December 27, 2012 at 12:03 PM (PT)
The debate over whether music streaming services like SPOTIFY, RADIO and RHAPSODY help or hurt record sales is expected to get even more heated, as industry observers point to TAYLOR SWIFT's massive success -- without using those services -- as a reason to forego them. The NY POST reports that the decision not only worked for SWIFT, but that it has "a growing number of artists and record execs wondering if they should snub streaming services as well."
For the record, SWIFT's "Red" enjoyed the biggest opening week for a non-discounted album in a decade by selling 1.2 million out of the box -- and it's currently enjoying is fifth week at #1. And she wasn't the first artist to bar music streamers from accessing a new album. ADELE’s "21" and COLDPLAY’s "Mylo Xyloto" didn't make their albums available for streaming until weeks and sometimes months after their release.
The POST contrasts that to what it described as "lackluster sales" for ALICIA KEYS’ "Girl on Fire" and GREEN DAY’s "Tre," which have posted lackluster sales despite being widely available via streaming services.
Executives quoted in the story offered different opinions on the sales clout of streaming services. Using them "doesn't make sense" to SCOTT BORCHETTA of BIG MACHINE, which released TAYLOR's album, because his label is "a small company" and that "streaming services just don’t offer a viable business model for his artists."
On the other hand, FRONT LINE MANAGEMENT CEO and LIVE NATION Exec. Chairman IRVING AZOFF noted, "You can’t stop consumers. They want to stream and be in the cloud ... The reason for the physical decline isn’t because of streaming, but because [retailers] don’t want to carry physical CDs anymore."
"Streaming radio doesn’t have a negative effect," CLEAR CHANNEL CEO BOB PITTMAN said. "Radio tends to promote, though some streaming services are basically a music collection you use instead of buying the songs. Like the movies, they have to balance all the windows. Where do I put it and when, and who is the likely buyer and how much promotion should I do?"