Merlin boss says major labels responsible for digital service failures


Merlin CEO Charles Caldas says that new digital music services that build their business models solely around the demands of major labels are playing a risky game. “New digital services often construct their services based on physical market shares. Major labels, who are actively trying to reconstruct their old-world advantage in a new digital economy, are undoubtedly influencing these startups,” he writes in a comment piece for GigaOm. “So instead of providing what listeners want to hear, music services end up building their consumer offering around what the majors force upon them as a cost of getting to market… If you are a startup music service looking to attract the digitally active, early adopters (the key demographic you need to build hype so that you may ultimately reach a broader market), you need to recognize that Arcade Fire, Grizzly Bear and the National are more likely to be at the top of the search lists, not Gaga or Maroon 5.”

Music Ally

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