Legendary band Pink Floyd made waves this summer when it publicly blasted online radio service Pandora for conspiring to cheat musicians out of a fair royalty rate. The accusations, set out in a public letter, touched off a debate over whether streaming services are bad for the bad industry.
Now, though, the debate is taking a new direction as Pink Floyd’s drummer (and one of the signatories to the letter) appears to have had a change of heart about streaming music services.
“Streaming .. is beginning to look like it might work for the artist.. Initially, streaming was seen as a form of piracy but it’s beginning to become a commercial possibility,” Nick Mason told an audience on Thursday at the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Cafe in London.
As some have noted, Mason’s words may not be such a surprise given that Pink Floyd signed a deal with Spotify in June; in the Journal interview, Mason referred several times to Spotify but not to Pandora. (Pink Floyd’s music label, EMI, signed a deal with Spotify in 2011 but did not include the band’s catalogue).
Other comments by Mason suggest he believes musicians’ struggle to make money lies more with record companies and the structure of the music industry, rather than technology. He pointed out that its hard for new musicians to climb up the traditional ladder when the bottom rungs simply aren’t there anymore; Cracker’s David Lowrey, another strident Pandora critic, has made the same point.
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