Daniel Ek, founder of Spotify, was interviewed at SXSW today. There is a full write up on VentureBeat which is well worth a read if you are interested in this space, but the standout nugget for me is captured in the following quotes from Ek. They capture the industries main challenge, the evidence it is starting to overcome the challenge, and the article of faith that underpins many free-cheap music services.
The industry is looking at new revenue opportunities and are generally positive on them. But nothing in digital has really been able to counter the decline in traditional revenue sources. [The challenge]
If you also look at Sweden, between 15 and 18 percent Swedish population actually uses Spotify. The music industry revenues are up there. Legal music revenues are up. Everything is up. It’s only a few percentage points but it’s up. [The evidence of progress]
I really believe that if music could be legally available on any device that you wanted… I think the music industry would be radically bigger than what it is today, [The article of faith]
It is dangerous to read too much into an extract from an interview at a conference, particularly when the interviewee has a vested interest, but if legal music revenues in Sweden continue to rise that will be of huge significance. In supporting news elsewhere in the interview Ek said that the UK is showing signs of being similar.