Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Will Music "Windowing" Become The Norm?

Music Windowing imageWhen Adele released her latest album 25, it wasn't officially available on most streaming services, which certainly helped her attain some healthy sales. Now nearing 20 million sales worldwide, many label execs have taken notice and want to institute the same policy with other artists as well.

Known as "windowing," the strategy has been used in the movie industry for some time. That's where a film is released on in the theaters for a period of time, and only allowed to go to rental and television only after it's finished its theater run.

The music version of windowing would have a superstar album release be only available via CD or download for a period of time before being released to the streaming services.

While that sounds all well and good on the surface, it also sounds like an industry pulling at straws in hopes of peeling back the flow of time. It won't work for a few reasons:

1. Consumers have now adapted to streaming and they're not going back. They expect to be able to find the music they want on their platform of choice right now and if your latest release isn't there they'll just move on.

2. Adele is a special case, with sales propped up mostly by soccer moms and baby boomer women (Sony did a study) who are predisposed to buy a CD or download.

Windowing is a bad idea, and while I don't think it will ultimately get any traction, it's only pushing back the inevitable. Streaming is here to stay until the next new technology is upon us, so let's all get used to it and maybe even enjoy it.


Anonymous said...

Spotify pays itself 30% and pays 10% to be divided up between all the songwriters and publishers in the world whose music it streams.

30% for basically hosting files. So you have to expect some pushback from the people who actually make the records, particulary indies who don't get special back room deals with Spotify the way the majors do.

John Eppstein said...

I wonder how much Spotify paid to have this article published? Because it's quite clearly a propaganda hit piece.

The reality is that withholding new releases from Spotify and other streaming services works, because if people really want the music they WON'T "walk by and listen to some crap they don't really like, they'll buy what they want to hear. And it's not "soccer moms" that are the only ones - anyone will do it if they really want to hear the music.

Of course that means that you have to make music that people really want to hear, and "the industry" isn't doing a very good job of that these days.

JASSNIRO said...

The profession of musician or anyone working in the field of music has become increasingly challenging . On one hand, globalization has helped artists to spread their music around the world with great ease through the web and multimedia in general .. On the other hand, we find that Youtube and Itunes sell off music to the highest bidder, in the sense that royalties are not always fully given, and tracks, as a result of fatigue and efforts, are sold off at 0.99 $, and all major PRO(Performance Rights Organizations),after a 'superhuman' job given by each musician, they will recognize to authors and writers just crumbs .. It is very important then that all artists, and music insiders operate together, to face the rampant devaluation of music and royalties , in the sense that
music distributors and retailers online should implement a synergy with companies such as Ascap, Bmi , and allow those who write a song and put it online having a viral feedback in terms of spins and a wide audience will get the right economic result and profit from all the work done, streaming activity included , because music is not just a hobby or a pleasure but also an hard work, that has to be paid and not used only for free.

jeff vies said...

what you guys are not grasping is brainwashing. The industry is shaking hands with big players like youtube, and internet providers. So does the movie industry. The notion of "people are not going to go back to buying cds" may be true, however, the dumbing down of youths, thanks to lesser options to "upload" non label content and become its competition? will grow. The intent is to turn the internet into a giant TV, where people WATCH the net and very little "self content" is going to be available. For example...youtube used to be you and I uploading things. NOW its corporate america posting things, looking like "locals" posting, faking View numbers, and actually throttling views on non corporate uploaders. people will in fact Do EXACTLY what they will be told to do. Truthfully, do you really KNOW people that have purchased a physical Cd? Lets take taylor swift. Do you know someone with the ACTUAL Cd? or paid 99 cents for the Songs themselves? yet she boasts Millions of sales. Yeah...they have redefined "sale" to make these unrealistic numbers. big acts are claiming to have a billion UNIQUE views on youtube, as youtube claims that watching something twice wont count as 2 views by the following day. They have a billion views from a site that isnt even world wide, and into populations that dont give a rats butt about the genre of music being pushed. a billions individual views is near a third of the whole planet. from babies in Burundi to muslim grandmas in Iraq. the reality is, this Facebook Generation will believe whatever is set before them and given them as options. Look at it this way....ALL efforts are placed into tablets...We cannot upgrade the memory of them very well, and simply throw them away for a new one to get "upgrades". We also cannot do things like play a cd or dvd. They are able to track you, unlike the Desktop. And YOU DONT MIND THAT. they fail, freeze and the phones drop calls, and no one protests that. The future is we all will accept Lower options, and do as told thanks to corporations offering FAR LESS OPTIONS to upcoming generations. Uploading ANY videos or music will be done away with soon so as to ONLY allow the rich people provide content for us...this will be done with FCC regulation. They have already started this effort this year 2016 by making GIANT financial hoops against local internet radio owners...Pretty much Handing internet radio to iHeart Radio.


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