Kobalt CEO Willard Ahdritz has been a vocal supporter of streaming services, and his latest interview with Billboard doesn’t change that. “This attitude that we should kill streaming is a huge mistake. In Scandinavia in 2009 we had an 80% illegal market. Today it has shrunk to 4%. The credit goes to Spotify, who single handedly took the region from a dark, illegal, non-monetised majority to a thriving, paying majority,” said Ahdritz.
But he admitted he is worried by the prospect of an “exclusive content war” between the major streaming services, with Apple, Tidal and Spotify all jostling for exclusives. “It will not be good for the long-term global business model. It will only benefit short-term cash gains,” said Ahdritz, delivering a warning to major labels about picking Apple over Spotify in the months and years to come. “The idea of ‘taking down Spotify,’ to trade with another big tech company, will guarantee that there will not be another $1 billion dollars in risk capital that will come in and try to build a music streaming service again. And what happens then? Will kids go back to buying CDs? No.”