Ad-Supported Streaming Model Needs Fixing

...While in a nascent market there’s been a strong argument from consumer services that features, not content, differentiate free from paid, consumers are demonstrating with accelerating force that they’re willing to pay for high-quality premium content.

Whether it’s Netflix’s transition to original content or the phenomenal growth of Amazon Prime’s video offering, consumers are voting that great content is worth paying for.

It would be naive to think every person on the face of the planet will pay for music or music-based content.

But in the absence of significant improvement in monetization, we must further bolster premium propositions with the world’s most desired content.

We at Universal continue to support our partners in the ad-funded content world. It serves as a foil to piracy, a solution for consumers less willing to pay for music and as a ramp to paid services.

But we need to enlist the help of these services in securing our content in their ecosystems so that we can choose how our music is made available to consumers and at what rates.

In India, for example, you’d have to watch user-generated videos for more than a month straight without sleep to earn $1 for rights-holders. That’s a lot of squirrels on water skis...

-- Jonathan Dworkin – UMG’s SVP of Digital Strategy and Business Development, speaking at Music Ally and the Music Business Association’s NY:LON Connect conference in London, England, earlier this week, via MBW



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