Warner’s digital man says the industry has cracked free

By | Published on Thursday 29 September 2011

Warner Music

The outgoing US-based digital boss of Warner Music, Michael Nash, has told CNET that he thinks that, with the help of Spotify and MOG, the record industry has finally worked out how to do free.

It’s a statement that might surprise some, given how flippin long it took for Warner to sign up to Spotify in the US, but his point is that the Swedish streaming service’s refined model is the right one – ie while free music might be funded by advertising in the short term, the long term objective should be to upsell subscriptions. Of course Spotify would claim that’s been their agenda from day one, though since their freemium option has been streamlined that has become more obvious.

Speaking to CNET’s Greg Sandoval, Nash said: “The industry has finally figured out free. The recent announcements from all these free offers is, from a licensing standpoint, the right approach. Free didn’t work before. It was once used, by sites like Imeem and Spiralfrog, to drive engagement with ads. What we’re looking for now is for free to drive engagement with subscription services”.

Read the full interview here.