I think only the strong survive in any business.
We’ve seen that the world only needs one Google. It only needs one Amazon. And everybody else is just going to go after the breadcrumbs that are left. It’s going to be immensely hard once you are already in this world and in this field to lose any momentum. I mean, these companies are too big to fail almost. But, as you know, things come and go. We used to say that about MySpace: “MySpace is the only thing that matters.” And then look what happened to them!
But I think where it’s going to go is– we saw this week Sprint offering deals to Tidal and buying into a little bit of Tidal’s philosophy and business structure. I’m just waiting for that moment to happen where stuff like Netflix is now on your cable bill. You don’t think anything of it, you pay one price, and then it’s going to be lumped in with the other telecommunications companies. I go through my server and my telecommunications company in order to access Spotify. So I think it only stands to reason that one day telecommunication companies are going to wake up and realize that they need to make a deal. They’re going to make a deal for Spotify, Tidal, iTunes, Google Play, or Pandora. Once that happens, it is going to explode in terms of the money that is going to be given back to the artists and the record labels.
It’s one thing for you and me to go on Spotify and pay for it separately. It’s another for my parents to be able to have Spotify on their cable bill without thinking about it, and that’s where the tipping point is going to happen. It’s going to be the people that already have that billing cycle there. All streaming services need to do is just tap into that. For all I know, it could be happening now– or you might see it a year or two down the road.
You can’t just wait on 40 million people around the world to pay $10 each, although that’s a really good business model. If you really want to change the industry for the better, you’ve got to get the other 90 million people with access to a credit card and cable down. That’s when it’s gonna start to explode.
— Interview with Eric Alper, The Politic