Posted inAnalysis, News

Rob Wells: ‘Google are apathetic to all content, not just music’

“Without sounding like a smug bastard, it kinda vindicates a lot of what we did in the early days in pioneering some of these deals…”

Rob Wells, former president of Universal Music Group’s global digital business, is casting his eye over 2016 – and specifically the upturn in recorded-music industry revenues that has been driven by streaming subscriptions.

“Back then, we had two issues: one was fighting the piracy problem, and two was the dominance of Apple’s iTunes music store. We studied the pirate services long and hard to understand what it was that consumers were gravitating towards: first, it was free and second – equally important – was they had everything,” he says.

“There was always an inevitability, once subscription reached network effect and got scale, that it was always going to drive the revenue and the traffic.”

Posted inAnalysis, News

Rob Wells: ‘There’s a lack of transparency in the entire industry’ (interview)

“The way I see it, there’s a number of hurdles. Firstly, you’ve got to start collecting the information, then you’ve got to collate and make sense of it. Then you need a team of people that can actually interpret what the findings are. And then you need another set of people to tell you what to do about it.”

Rob Wells is talking about the music industry’s approach to big data – a science that’s been exciting music execs for several years now, but which still has a lot of potential to be tapped by labels, artists and managers.

“There’s a lot of chatter about data, and how it can inform your marketing efforts and provide you with ROI and give you more insight and blah blah blah. It’s another thing to put it into executional use.”