Analysis

William Corgan: free streaming will ‘destroy pop market beyond top 10’


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corganSmashing Pumpkins mainman William Corgan has responded to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek’s latest interview with a tweetstorm of views about the future of streaming music, expressing his scepticism about the motivations of Spotify, Apple and rivals.

“IMO future of streaming services will be FREE, but it’ll be Fortune 500 companies/MAdison Ave picking up tab,” tweeted Corgan – who recently reverted to William from Billy – with a link to Ek’s interview in the Observer this weekend.

“It’ll also reward artists w/ deeper catalogs, like Beatles or Prince or Zep or oh yeah, Smashing P’s and destroy pop market beyond top 10, but fantasy that streaming helps break new artists is only a smokescreen to keep social media heat off IPOs or selling hardware,” he continued.

“Eventually the big 3 or 15 or whatever will have to revenue share, or the true artist class will revolt, esp those who own/control catalog. here’s a hint for eco-friendly consumer: NOTHING is ever free. and we’re finally seeing reveal of how much these tech companies NEED music.”

This isn’t the first time Corgan has spoken publicly about his view of the streaming market. In April he compared the streaming market to the Wild West in an interview.

“And like I said on @CNBC, once artists figure out their TRUE value, all hell will break loose; hence Apple trying to get ahead of game now offering as Apple will sweetheart deals to a chosen few. But they’ll face same thing as others b4; where there’s winners, there’s losers too,” he continued in today’s series of tweets.

“And these companies make same mistake over and over, ignoring CORE artists over those that are in their mobiles or that generate headlines. there is nothing wrong with FREE music, but please don’t buy media narrative that companies offering it don’t have a MUCH bigger upside. and we’re talking about tens of thousands of artists not receiving a JUST/FAIR compensation for your interest (and what that interest SELLS).”

Corgan went on to retweet another user who’d suggested the idea that “nothing virtual should cost money and intellectual property should be free for anyone to use”, delivering a quick riposte: “And honestly, that’s narrative tech coaches rely on: that they’re the benevolent force that’s booking you up with free stuff. Malarkey!” he wrote.

“tech companies need you clicking on things, viewing ads, buying phones, tablets, their altruistic business models that they’re saving world. And music is one HIGHLY EFFECTIVE way (but not only) of getting you into their hubs/spheres/.coms and for that artists receive a pittance.”

His parting shot: “Think of it this way: if you find yourself defending the biz practices of a billion dollar corp against that of a lone artist, you’re lost.”

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