The music industry wants to fight the internet again—and it’s probably going to lose

A generation of consumers who grew up with illicit file-sharing services like Napster have been conditioned to expect access to music for nothing. Spotify thinks that turning them back into paying customers is a delicate process. Erecting pay barriers too soon could turn them back to piracy. As CEO Daniel Ek explained in a blog post earlier this year, “If we want to drive people to pay for music, we have to compete with free to get their attention in the first place.” So the growth of Spotify’s paid service depends heavily on its free option. […] But Spotify isn’t the only one feeling the heat. The industry has been trying to crush Pandora, the free online radio service that music labels think pays them too little in royalties. And there are even hints that they are beginning to turn against YouTube. Up until now, no-one has really been brave enough to take on the Google-owned video upload site, which attracts more than 1 billion sets of eyeballs each month and is very popular for music videos. “YouTube gets a free ride,” bemoans Merlin’s Caldas. – John McDuling, Quartz
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