The Consumer Electronic Show (CES) is wrapping it up in Las Vegas after 150,000 visitors who descended on The Strip to look closely at the latest curved-screen televisions and new models of washing machines including a vast array of different products. Music pervaded the scene and it was the topic of the panel on “Streaming Wars: Who will be the winner?” The panelists included Anthony Bay, CEO of Rdio, Ty Roberts, co-founder of Gracenote and Jeff Smith, CEO of Smule.
Five takeaways generated from the proceedings
The death of the music industry is an exaggeration
According to Bay, music listening has reached an all time high with more ways to listen to music. Music has never been more valuable to consumers than today but they are no longer forced to pay so much for their music than they did before.
Record labels are still important
It may or it may not be good news to you but big recording companies are still in control of the music industry. They still have the leverage to make negotiations with companies providing streaming services and new music companies. According to Bay, 50% of music sales still come from physical sales globally and the major recording companies have the necessary structure to collect their fees. Artists should keep on pushing for better deals because for new and unproven artists, signing up with major recording companies is still the best deal.
Niche markets add to the music income
Smule has developed apps populated with user-generated content that includes collaborative pop covers and faithful T-Pain impressions for their niche audience. The apps have managed to gain a large user base for Smule. Another way to generate more income is the streaming services dedicated to Christian music enthusiasts and yoga practitioners.
Audio quality is expected to become a big issue
One topic was very much evident on the panel, Sony’s digital music player that was designed for the most discerning tastes but turned out to be something of a sham although others hailed it as an audiophile’s dream.
Hip hop is expected to continue as the engine of entrepreneurial innovation
After the clothing lines of Jay-Z and Diddy, many music stars have followed suit as entrepreneurs. So this is what it is meant to be – business and music.