‘Independents Are Front and Centre’

Check out this lengthy interview with Merlin BV CEO Charles Caldas on [PIAS]’s fine blog, worth reading in full. A couple of excerpts:

[PIAS]: Did Spotify save the music business?

Charles Caldas: I don’t really subscribe to the ‘silver bullet’ view of the music industry. But Spotify’s certainly led the way to helping people to understand that there are different ways to monetise these rights. They showed you could marry those disruptive technologies with real commercial opportunities – not just threats.

Now if you look at the value Apple Music, Amazon and Google Play is bringing into the streaming business, you’re starting to see that’s shaping what the future of the business will look like.

[PIAS]: A lot of people are saying streaming isn’t mainstream yet.

Charles Caldas: That’s an important point. When I was younger, I was trying to sell records into HMV in Australia which was the epitome of the mainstream retailer. Let’s be generous and say there were 10,000 titles in that store. If you weren’t in those 10,000 titles you were invisible to the people in that store.

Now, the mainstream is whatever is on the services – every bit of music ever released. That’s why independents are front and centre in the market today. We’re not relegated to the specialist retailers or to the back of the shop.

Look into it from a consumer point of view: you can come into an environment like Spotify and what you’re discovering is no longer limited to what you hear on the radio, saw on television or read about in the press.

What we call over-indexing today is to me the rightful performance of independent music in the marketplace. The days of ‘if only the record store would stock this record’ have gone.

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