Before Apple Music launched, regulators in the US and Europe probed the Apple’s dealings with the music labels and found them blameless. However, it is increasingly clear that the music labels were pushing Apple Music and now Spotify to drop freemium, advertiser supported plans.
According to a European Commission investigation, Apple did not collude with the music labels in launching Apple Music without a permanent freemium, advertiser supported plan.
The music labels, however, are clearly getting together to force streaming music services to kill freemium.
Digital Music News reports that Spotify will soon be shifting towards a premium-only, “gated access” business model. This according to “several sources speaking in confidence” (ie anonymously)
Who would be surprised to learn that if those sources were the labels? Not me.
It is worth asking why it is alright for the music labels to get together to kill free (ie advertiser support internet radio. Clearly, the future for traditional broadcast radio isn’t bright.
Regardless, the question of “Who’s next?” immediately comes to mind. Apple Music is already onboard, Spotify’s coming in early 2016. That said, I fully expect and will still be disappointed when Rdio, Google Play Music, Pandora, Songza, Rhapsody, and Amazon Prime Music will all fall in line and drop freemium…
What’s your take?