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A RISING TIDE: STREAMING INTO
THE FUTURE

With Apple Music due to launch for realsies on 6/30, there's plenty of activity on the streaming-service front.

Various sources are reporting that Apple will be compensating rights holders at a rate higher than the 70% all in paid by Spotify. Let the compensation wars commence!

Music Business World reports that in Europe, on-demand streamery Deezer—a strong presence on the continent—has rolled out a three-month offer of 99p or the equivalent in the U.K., France and Spain. The Deezer site says the service will be available in the U.S. soon. (The cutoff to sign up for the trial is 7/1 in the U.K. and 7/3 in Europe).

Spotify, as you'll doubtless have read, recently announced passing the 20 million subscribers mark, adding video and closing another round of financing. Much speculation in the press surrounding the coming "stream wars" focuses on how loyal Spotify users will turn out to be. Daniel Ek's streamery has thus far appeared the toughest player on the field. One sign of his campaigning prowess: He got a playlist out of Hillary Clinton (who seems quite fond of Island's American Authors, among other uplifting popsters).

Still, Ek and company continue to take a public drubbing from biz leaders for the freemium tier. Sony/ATV overlord Martin Bandier, quoted in a Financial Times profile (currently behind a paywall), reiterates his support for Taylor Swift's refusal to play with Spotify. "I can understand Taylor’s view,” he says, adding that “45m people are listening to our songwriters’ work and they’re not being paid for it. If you made neckties and had 60m but gave 45m away for free you would be out of business in a few days.” 

Will this rising tide truly lift all boats? How will the interplay of free and paid music evolve as the streaming field matures and grows more crowded? How might streameries adjust their pricing to balance attracting customers and paying rights holders? What role will mobile carriers play in the developing marketplace? Will Hillary Clinton discover Royal Blood? Stay tuned.

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