Record Labels Pressure Spotify Into Being Worse; Driving Users Back To Piracy
from the golden-geese... dept
I’ve spent a lot of time in Europe, over the past few years, at various music industry events, and one thing has become clear: all sorts of folks tell me that they stopped file sharing once they started using Spotify. It’s uncanny. It shows, once again, that if you actually offer a good service, you absolutely can compete with file sharing. But there’s no golden goose that the record labels can’t kill, and they’ve been grumbling about Spotify for a while now… despite the fact that Spotify is making them more money than iTunes, in countries where it’s available.
However, as we’ve seen, the entertainment industry has a special talent for screwing up a good thing, and their latest target is Spotify. Spotify still hasn’t been released in the US, in part because some of the record labels (cough Warner Music cough) are demanding ridiculous restrictions on users, limiting any “free” parts to make the service a lot less appealing. Now it appears that the labels have also pressured Spotify into seriously cutting back on their free offer in Europe.
This will, undoubtedly, drive many of the users, who were making the industry money, back to unauthorized file sharing. In fact, many of the comments on Spotify’s blog post about this say exactly that. For an industry that keeps claiming stamping out piracy is the number one goal, you would think it would know better than to take away the best tool they’ve had to compete with file sharing in a while. Spotify certainly isn’t perfect, but it’s amazing how quickly the recording industry seeks to destroy anything that starts making them money. They tried to do it with iTunes as well, but Steve Jobs fought back. Spotify apparently doesn’t have the same clout just yet.
Really, this is symptomatic of the mentality of many of the bosses in the recording industry. They do absolutely nothing themselves to innovate. Instead, they resist and/or sue any innovation that comes along. Then, when an innovation finally breaks through and works, just as it’s starting to really take off, the record label bosses get jealous and start complaining that these innovative services that are making them money are getting too much of the credit (and money) and demand a larger cut, making claims about how the service isn’t the thing that’s important, it’s the music. Of course, if it were just the music that was important, these innovative services wouldn’t be catching on. The service is important too, and each time the record label bosses overvalue their own music and undervalue the service, they end up killing off innovative offerings and driving users back to file sharing…