In the LA Times last week it was revealed that Metal record label Century Media have withdrawn their content from Spotify’s catalogue claiming that “… in its current form, it does not allow for the artists to derive the profit needed to sustain their respective careers”.

I don’t agree with Century’s comments. The more services like Spotify there are the better. CD sales are in irreversible decline because of the advent of digital.

There are two types of substitutional digital usage – illegal digital usage and legal digital usage. The fewer legal services there are and the more restricted their offering, the more users are driven into the arms of illegal sites.

It is absolutely true that content owners receive only tiny amounts from each stream compared to the amounts they used to receive from CD sales, but that is not the right comparison. The comparison is the amount received from Spotify versus the “nothing” received from illegal services.

If services like Spotify and countless other legitimate digital retailers can be encouraged into the market then Content owners will only benefit, potentially expanding the market well beyond its CD peak. If there were thousand s of digital retailers able to distribute music legitimately, then they would potentially be able to reach millions of users in a way that physical retailers selling CD’s and bound by shelf space and geography could never have hoped to emulate.