WIRED 2015 is our annual two-day celebration of the innovators, inventors, artists and entrepreneurs who are reinventing our world. For more from the event, head over to our WIRED 2015 hub.
Apple Music isn’t going to overhaul the music industry like iTunes did — instead we’re going to see even more artists using streaming platforms like YouTube and Spotify to set themselves up independently, according to a veteran of the industry.
“It’s a great time for creators,” Brian Message, the manager behind Radiohead, Nick Cave and Catfish and the Bottlemen, told WIRED 2015 at London’s Tobacco Dock. “We’re moving out of an old world into a new, dynamic world where creators have the opportunity to be their own business.”
“It doesn’t mean that the old established businesses will go away,” he continued. “We’re just going to see a proliferation of businesses outside and around that.”
Message — who has been in the music industry for over 25 years — is optimistic about the shift. He’s a fan of the streaming model that has been pioneered by the likes of YouTube and Spotify. It gives musicians more control over their art, stripping out the middle men production and distribution, he said.
Message admitted that “some creators are never going to be their own chief executives.” They need a team around them to take care of the business side. “But the line is very blurred now. We’re almost their business partners. We sit beside them,” said Message.
When asked about Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke’s comments on streaming services — he once called Spotify “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse” — Message commented, “Thom’s issue was that the pipe has become so jammed.” But he doesn’t agree with Yorke, noting that Spotify pays 70 percent of its revenue back to the music industry.
He finished his talk with a tip for aspiring musicians: “We encourage all of our artists to take a long term approach,” he said. “Plan for the long term, understand that it’s a tough game. Find your team players, choose them carefully, and stick with them even things are not going so well.”