Sony Entertainment head predicts demise of unlimited free music streaming

Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton has warned consumers that the era of unlimited free music streaming may be drawing to a close as the industry transitions toward film industry style ‘windowing’ release schedules.

This will see high value new releases rolled out in a phased release schedule to maximise revenues, with paying subscribers getting first dibs on the biggest tracks before they appear on free streaming sites.

Outlining his thinking during an interview with Re/Code Lynton said: “We all see the business is moving downhill; the download business is declining quarterly. The kind of a service that we would like to see, going forward, is a subscription service.

Lynton concluded: “… They’re going to window. So you’re going to first hear the music in a subscription service, and then later in a free service, rather than the other way around.”

Popular streaming sites such as Spotify and Apple Music currently count some 30 and 10m paid subscribers respectively.

John Glenday

John Glenday is responsible for compiling The Drum's daily morning bulletin and ensuring that overnight breaking news is covered while you're still brushing your teeth. Can also make a mean cup of tea.

All by John