Rob Stringer 2022
Sony Music boss Rob Stringer

It’s clearly the season for senior major-label executives to outline what they feel is wrong with the current music-streaming economy. Sony Music chairman Rob Stringer offered his latest thoughts overnight, during parent corporation Sony’s annual event for investors.

“We are all aware that there is more music in consumption terms than ever before,” said Stringer, citing the now-familiar stat that more than 100k tracks are uploaded to streaming services every day.

“At Sony Music our attention is on identifying quality, and not purely quantity, as we face competition from many investors and new companies wishing to capitalise on this sheer volume,” he continued.

“We are convinced that consumers want the same quality and remain concerned that DSPs are watered down by low quality and meaningless volume which negatively impacts music fans and real artists.”

Stringer also called for “aggressive enforcement” by streaming services and distributors to eliminate streaming fraud, and joined the chorus of rightsholders calling for more price rises in streaming subscriptions.

“Recently, we have seen price increases from a number of our digital partners that have been long overdue, and we look forward to more DSPs recognising that the value of music continues to rise,” is how he put that.

And yes, of course AI was on Stringer’s agenda too. “AI promises to provide us tools so that our artists and writers can create and innovate. It also heralds greater levels of insight through machine learning, as well as potential new licensing channels and avenues for commercial exploitation,” said Stringer, before turning to the challenges.

“We will protect our creators on every level possible whether it be creative, financial or legal in basis. Infringement and unauthorised usage of their rights should be the basis for a unique new set of artist and songwriter protections industry-wide. Tech does not simply overrule art.”

Music Ally’s next Learn Live webinar will help you understand what’s required for artists to thrive in new international markets!

Music Ally's Head of Insight