“Spotiwhy? : Are Subscription Music Services a Sustainable Business Model?” by Frank Woodworth

When there is a song that pervades pop culture, the potential numbers start lining up with the current revenue, and as subscription music attains larger percentages of the U.S. population, the numbers for a potential hit become significantly more than a hit song currently. Of course, the flip side of this is that there are no album sales on top of these numbers like there is currently. As subscription music becomes dominant this becomes the only recorded revenue stream.

The folks at Spotify like to say that they want access to music to open the doors to other revenue sources. With this in mind, Woodworth asks something that seems so obvious I’m surprised this is the first time I read it.

In regards to merchandise, tickets or any of the other ancillary revenue streams, it is true that streaming will promote them, but the current and former methods of music consumption also did that. I’d be interested to see any proof that streaming music is somehow a more efficient promoter of these other revenue streams.