Last Day For Panels At International CES
January 8, 2015 at 9:41 AM (PT)
THURSDAY is the last full day of INTERNATIONAL CES panels and sessions in LAS VEGAS. Exhibit halls will be open FRIDAY 9a-4p (PT), although C-Space at ARIA will be closing at 4p TODAY and will not be open FRIDAY. THURSDAY will also feature ENGADGET's Best of CES Awards and the Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards.
A Report From The Streaming Music Wars
Streaming music's present and future was the topic of a panel THURSDAY morning, with GRACENOTE's co-founder TY ROBERTS, RDIO CEO ANTHONY BAY, and SMULE co-founder JEFFREY C. SMITH discussing the industry with moderator ZACK O'MALLEY GREENBURG of FORBES.
"The value of music of consumers is at an all-time high," ROBERTS said, but the question, he continued, is what they'll pay for it. "We're not getting enough from consumers because there are free alternatives," ROBERTS explained. BAY said that while NETFLIX and AMAZON PRIME have achieved a large percentage of broadband customers, the same cannot be said of music streaming. "There are no profitable companies of our type in the industry," BAY said, although he added that "we're growing again."
SMITH said that the business model is evolving and the way artists are compensated is changing, with touring and merchandising becoming more important and agents and marketing companies competing with labels in some instances for that business. ROBERTS raised the issue of licensing for live streaming music, saying of having to do a one-off license per song, "that's not gonna happen ... there has to be a better way."
SMITH noted the rise of managers cutting deals that would in the past be handled by labels, and said that labels have been "relegated to license management." ROBERTS contended that "it's great for people who have built up a fan base on their own," but not for those who need tour support before they can hit the road. "Labels will fill a role," BAY added, "because there are not a lot of revenue streams ... the physical music business on a global basis is still almost half of the revenue ... there are a lot of values (the labels) provide." And SMITH said that label business is better this year than last.
On the future of the business, ROBERTS imagined that the industry would end up with a few "big ones" and a variety of niche services specializing in specific applications ("we're the yoga channel").