And it’ll all be Apple Music’s doing. Music Industry Blog picks up the thread.
The next 6 to 12 months could prove to be some of the most disruptive record labels have ever experienced, and nowhere will this pain be felt more than among smaller independent record labels with strong digital sales. At the heart of this disruption will be Apple Music and the wider continued ramping up of streaming. If Apple Music is a success over the coming year it will do one or both of the following:
- It will convert / cannibalize non-subscribing download buyers
- It will convert / cannibalize existing subscribers
The probability is that it will do a bit of both with an emphasis on #1. The market level net impact of #1 will depend on the degree to which Apple converts lower spending iTunes buyers versus higher spending ones i.e. whether it increases or lowers the average spend. But even if it is the latter the effect for smaller labels could still be net negative over the coming year. If you are a big label with hundreds of thousands or millions of tracks then you have enough catalogue to quickly feel major revenue uplift from 5 or 10 million new subscribers. If you only have a few hundred or a few thousand tracks though then the picture is less rosy.