As the music industry’s free fall continues, streaming services like Spotify and Rdio have popped up as the some of the most visible solutions to the industry’s sales declines. But that won't cut it, according to David Byrne.
In an editorial for the Guardian, the Talking Heads frontman argues that the Internet will “suck all creative content out of the world.”
“In future, if artists have to rely almost exclusively on the income from these services, they'll be out of work within a year,” he writes, joining a growing list of musicians who claim that streaming royalties are too negligible to be worth it.
“The larger question is that if free or cheap streaming becomes the way we consume all (recorded) music and indeed a huge percentage of other creative content – TV, movies, games, art, porn – then perhaps we might stop for a moment and consider the effect these services and this technology will have, before "selling off" all our cultural assets the way the big record companies did,” he warns, adding that “things will change” if the likes of Spotify and Pandora become the default way for consumers to pay for cultural content.
Ultimately, though Byrne asks more questions than he can answer and concludes by conceding that, like the rest of us, he has no alternative to propose. So it's back to square one, then.