Great article. I enjoyed it.
Killing freemium is bad for emerging artists who signed with a label. As the label may opt out of Spotify and Youtube at any given time.
Regarding your question: And what about the artists who don’t have label deals, or access to legit licensing deals?
Labels can not force youtube to kill free service. Independent artists, youtubers, bloggers, they all depend on youtube as a channel. But even more so does youtube depend on this content being generated –To serve ads to the masses–. This is question kind of answers itself.
Besides, we are overlooking very important facts.
- Spotify can still opt for IPO to raise even more money to further fuel its growth.
- Killing freemium is not only bad for independent artists, its bad for labels as well.
Freemium is not only a good model for growth, it is how we make the Internet. You will always have paid services and freemium services.
I really do not see the fuzz is about here. Net neutrality is a Much-Bigger threat to free-streaming. If net neutrality gets compromised –As they did to Netflix already–, then free streaming is over. Labels could find ways to lower the bandwidth to any channel they see fit, compromising the user experience, ergo killing free streaming.