LAS VEGAS, April 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In the music industry, there are two major knocks on streaming services: they pay skimpy royalties to artists and they've cost the industry billions. But those critiques are, in the words of John Kohl, CEO of TuneGO (www.tunego.com), the music industry's premier career development platform, "completely wrongheaded."
"The music industry lost billions of dollars for a full decade before music streaming entered the mix," Kohl says. "Those with short memories perhaps can't recall the rapacious era of piracy and music downloads, which up-ended things well before anyone had heard (or heard of) Pandora or Spotify."
Now that music streaming has become quite the cash cow (more on that momentarily), it's incumbent on the labels and the content owners to share the wealth with the artists who just happen to be responsible for the current resurgence, Kohl maintains. In his view, the economics finally enable music streaming to actually boost artist royalties and otherwise protect the rights of emerging talent.
TuneGO was created to help artists get fans, get connected and get discovered. It serves as a veritable farm system for the music business, with genuine potential to reshape the industry landscape. The company is currently developing technology aimed at creating new ways for artists to monetize their work.
Industry revenues declined every year between 1999 and 2014, Kohl observes: "Against that dismal backdrop, music streaming is today the only growth driver in the business. Indeed, after 15 years of woe, streaming is the catalyst for an industry comeback, albeit one that is proceeding more slowly than I'd prefer. But stepping back, the turnaround is actually quite remarkable; streaming has transformed a listing ship into one that floats and even cruises now and then."
Today, streaming is now the #1 form of music consumption, and the biggest money- maker for the American music industry. "All of the major streaming players -- Spotify, Slacker, iHeartRadio, Apple, Pandora and others -- are investing heavily to create massive consumer awareness and adoption," Kohl says. "Music fans are voting with their wallets as they convert from free streaming services to premium paid subscriptions. Paid subscriptions in streaming music topped $1 billion for the first time in 2015. Now, the entire streaming sector of the music industry brings in some $2.4 billion, half from subscriptions."
The labels aren't leading from behind -- in some cases, they're at the head of the pack, he suggests. The world's largest and second largest music labels are engaged in a cautious but strategic embrace of streaming consumption. Universal Music Group and Sony now both generate 24 percent of their music income from streaming.
"The smart money is investing in music tech because the marketplace is poised to generate tremendous investment returns," Kohl predicts. "Industry data points to explosive growth in music-tech over the next few years. Technology giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple (again) and Samsung are all creating products based around a core music experience, and are integrating music into their existing product lines.
"The best part about streaming is that it will expand the music industry overall, engaging even more music fans (consumers) than ever before. This is tremendous news for artists, at least those artists who understand the inevitable -- the future, however we describe it. "
Kohl cites Atom Factory founder/CEO Troy Carter as one industry executive who truly gets it. "For Carter, music streaming is all about exposure -- that's step one," he says. "Step two is monetizing that exposure as the surest path to success. Industry experts like Carter believe the overall streaming market will grow tenfold over the next five years, from 100 million users to 1 billion. And that number ought to be music to everyone's ears."
TuneGO (https://www.tunego.com/) is a multi-platform music discovery network that connects independent artists with music producers, songwriters, promoters and consumers. TuneGO was created by the career development professionals who have worked with the biggest names in the music business – artists like David Bowie, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Elton John, Prince and Britney Spears. At the heart of TuneGO platform is the Producers Circle, which includes such luminaries as Ron Dante, Al Kasha, Desmond Child, Gary Katz, James "Jae-E" Earley, John "Jellybean" Benitez, Kevin Churko, Lamont Dozier, Michael Lloyd, Peter Asher and Val Garay. The company maintains distribution agreements with the largest music companies in the world, among them Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon, Shazam, Slacker and Microsoft.
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