Yesterday, Spotify announced they would start carrying video content putting the streaming service on par with others like Amazon Prime, TIDAL, and iTunes. In addition to music, Spotify will now carry podcasts, tempo driven playlists, and video from providers such as, BBC, MTV, Vice News, and more.
Every major platform is battling to capture users and the time they spend connected because in today's market, this is determines value. Spotify is valued at around $8 billion and to keep the value growing, they need more users. In order to bring more users to a platform, you need content and exclusive content to be even more alluring. To get exclusive content, you need to purchase said content because record labels (and cable providers) have no loyalty except to money. If all the platforms are paying the content creators around the same amount, the only reason to pick a specific platform is if you're getting paid more to be exclusive. While Apple has yet to release a streaming platform, rumor has it that Apple has been scooping up exclusive artists like Taylor Swift for millions. Apple was even trying to undercut other streaming services in price but was supposedly forced by record labels to maintain a $9.99/month price.
So the more popular artists can be bought, the more involved artists create their own platform (TIDAL), but what about the starving artists in their bedroom? What happens to those artists that keep pushing forward instead of standing still? One of the first to support the independent artist, Soundcloud, is now facing many enemies as it looks towards monetization. Sony has already pulled music from Soundcloud which is making some of its artists unhappy.
For those creative enough to shape the next genre of music, the next 'Game of Thrones' or the next 'Serial', a new platform is needed which doesn't require monetization because fans will be willing enough to support these creations.