McCartney Pulls From Spotify. By, Bob Lefsetz

Posted on February 8, 2012 by

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http://bit.ly/zoZw1k

Nobody gives a shit about his standards album anyway.

Despite the reproduction of press releases in mainstream media, despite the reviews of said album in same, no one really cares. That’s the dirty little secret of being a classic rocker, you’re done, you’re toast, only people your age have any desire to hear your new music, and most of them don’t either.

Which is why you’ve got to make it easy.

Somehow, these acts still put money in front of exposure. When their problem is just the opposite. Believe me, McCartney’s grosses are not going to go down if his music is on Spotify, just the opposite. People know the legendary cuts and want to hear them live. But they don’t want to hear the new music. That’s time to pee, to get popcorn, an indulgence by the oldsters that they tolerate, just as long as it’s only a couple of songs. And how do you change this? By making good new music and making it available to people.

Hell, if I contacted BigChampagne I’d probably find out no one’s bothering to torrent the McCartney covers album, desire is just that low.

But some might give it a spin if it was easily available to stream on Spotify, which is not like forcing me to go to a site I’m unfamiliar with because you made an exclusive publicity deal with them to use an antique player to hear the songs. The advantage of Spotify is everything’s in one place. So people go there and take risks.

And what’s great about Spotify is it kills piracy. Isn’t that what got us into this mess? But by putting your stuff behind a pay wall, by making people buy it to hear it, you’re hanging on to an old model and encouraging those who care to steal. We don’t want to buy anything without checking it out first. Kind of like buying a car, would you do so without a test drive?

You’ve got to look to endgame. Not the tiny streaming payments of today. Not only is Spotify the first service to negatively impact piracy (it doesn’t pay to take the time to steal to check out new albums anymore), as we move to a mobile world more people will pay for the service, as it is, uptake has increased.

I give a shit about music. I think artists should be paid. I think that recording revenue is just part of the total pie. I think the more artists rail against Spotify the more they demonstrate their ignorance and greed. What, do they all use BlackBerrys and refuse to use iPads too?

The public embraces the new when you make it good and easy. Convenience is something people pay for each and every day. Hell, that’s what blew up MP3s to begin with! The ability to hear what you wanted whenever you wanted in your digital jukebox, ultimately in iTunes which synched with iPods. All those millions of iPods sold, if you think they were filled with paid tracks, you’re dreaming.

Can we all get our heads out of the sand and live in the present? Can we all agree that the only path to the future is to get ahead of the consumer and corral him? This is how the iPhone killed the BlackBerry. Four and a half years ago, only Apple zealots needed iPhones, now everybody needs an app phone.

Many customers don’t even know they need Spotify yet. The service is still growing. Isn’t that great! Because once everybody knows about something and no longer cares you’ve got Nokia, or Palm, and you’re toast. Spotify’s got room to grow. But if Luddites like Paul McCartney keep crippling the service they’ll make good and sure that music is free in the future.

P.S. For the umpteenth time, I’ve got no financial interest in Spotify, I own no shares in Apple, I’m just championing what I think is great, the same way you trumpet a band you love. And Apple’s sales have proven iPhones and iPads are not niche, and neither are streaming music services. We’ve all got to start somewhere, whether it be Google or Facebook. The way acts are going they’re gonna push back the future of digital music consumption for years, sheerly out of ignorance.

Spotify hits 3m subscribers to improve conversion rate: http://on.ft.com/ymlT4l


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