A current Pitchfork article: Making Cents.
A couple of pertinent quotes from said article:
“The question of when we’ll be profitable actually feels irrelevant. Our focus is all on growth. That is priority one, two, three, four and five.” (Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify).
Indeed, music itself seems to be irrelevant to these businesses– it is just another form of information, the same as any other that might entice us to click a link or a buy button on a stock exchange.
Who are backing these companies? Would I be very far off if I guessed that they are various kinds of capitalists (venture-, investment- et al) who have found a quick way to generate capital? Who are running them? Would I be very far off if I guessed that they are various kinds of “boardroom professionals” as we call them here?
Look at the ownership of these companies. Why do the old “conventional” record companies own such great shares in for example Spotify? I suggest that control of assets is the key motivator.
All of this (and more) work to limit creativiy and suppress variety in the mainstream. None of it has the slightest thing to do with music.
Also, an interesting perspective from the world of books: I Tripled My Royalties.