Donald Passman recently shared some interesting thoughts with Billboard regarding the ‘Freemium Model’ employed by some streaming services as well as a few other new realities facing today’s music economy. He recognized that the ad-supported model drags down per-user revenue and cites Spotify as a freemium service where paid subscribers are outnumbered 3-to-1. Passman discussed a few other challenges facing today’s music business including unauthorized usage of music on YouTube and the future of performance rights organizations.
Spotify is now providing artists on the platform with valuable data generated with their new Fan Insights dashboard. With the availability of the dashboard, artists will now be able to track geographical locations, delineate how frequently fans are listening to their music, as well as determine the percentage of streams that are being generated from different playlists. These tools have potential to be highly useful for a multitude of purposes including tour routing. Spotify described working with managers and artists to identify the data metrics that can be utilized most by artists with the aim of providing “the right data in the right context”.
Jay-Z’s high fidelity music streaming service Tidal has continued to experience instability with the departure of another top executive this week. After the company’s CEO Peter Tonstad resigned in June, chief investment officer Vania Schlogel has just resigned. These shifts come as Tidal faces not only criticism and skepticism, but also heightened competition in the streaming space with newcomers such as Apple Music and YouTube’s new service. Tidal offers no free tier and their high-quality audio streaming tier is struggling to compete at $19.99 a month.