Every few months a naïve journalist gets misled by a false narrative pushed by someone in the recording industry. Last winter it was the New York Times. More recently, Business Insider fell into a similar trap with its headline: “The music industry has made more money in 2015 from a century old technology than ad-supported streaming.”
It was a busy weekend. Yesterday, a Taylor Swift Tumblr post explained why she will withhold her 1989 album from the new Apple Music service. A few hours later Apple changed course, decided to incur higher operating costs in perpetuity and is back in Swift’s good graces. Everybody wins? Not likely.
Given Ms. Swift’s very public disagreement about royalties and other articles about small checks that some artists receive, many are left with the impression that music streaming services are unfairly benefiting from musicians’ work. Industry data emerged last week suggesting record labels are the real beneficiaries.