The latest contribution to the streaming/downloads cannibalisation debate comes from Beggars Group chairman Martin Mills. “Some of our catalogue artists earn more from streams than downloads of individual tracks [or] any other format,” he tells the Telegraph.
“If we didn’t have digital we wouldn’t have a business. Physical is still important to us but the lesson we learned over last few years is that you have to strike a balance between giving people what they want on the one hand and actually being a business.”
Mills’ comments won’t be a surprise for many labels, whether major or indie. The fact that some artists – stress the ‘some’ – are making more money from streams than downloads has been known for a while now.
Music Ally has seen research from other labels suggesting that the bigger and more established the artist, the sooner the tipping point comes in that streaming/downloads ratio. However, Mills’ comments are also a reminder of another aspect to this debate: an artist’s payouts from streaming are defined by their contract with their label, not just by how much the streaming services are paying out.