Warc Blog

Music streaming battle intensifies

25 October 2013
SAN BRUNO: YouTube is reported to be preparing to enter the increasingly busy music-streaming market with a service offering both subscription and advertising-supported options, while hip-hop star Dr Dre is also planning something similar with the launch of Beats Music.

Billboard described YouTube's service as "Spotify with video", including a premium service permitting unlimited, on-demand access to full tracks on all platforms and the probable removal of ads. YouTube's parent company Google already offers an All Access music subscription service.

YouTube declined to comment on the reports, saying "we have nothing to announce at this time". Some observers thought music videos would be more likely to appear on Vevo which is supported by major record labels.

Spotify, meanwhile, is looking to increase the role brands play on the platform and to introduce new ad products. Brand profile pages that users could follow, enabling brands to act as tastemakers, are one such option.

"There's lot of different ways brands can make an impactful presence on Spotify," global ad product strategy director Gary Liu told Marketing Week.

"Users are looking to Spotify for people to tell them what great music to do to and brands have proven that they can help with that," he said. "It could even be as basic as just media at scale, that's an objective."

He also indicated that the free, ad-supported service on mobile, currently only available in the US, was likely to be extended into new markets. "We are committed to changing that as a company and hopefully we'll have some exciting news about that soon," he said.

He also rejected criticism from artists, such as Radiohead's Thom Yorke, who said that music-streaming sites did not help artists get paid fairly. Liu said 70% of Spotify's revenues went back to record labels, a sum in the region of $500m.

"We are on the same side of them," he stated. "Our success is on the same side as their success."

Data sourced from Billboard, Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff

 
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