Streaming music chief says streaming music will never be a primary medium, then takes it back

napster frowny logoThe General Manager of Rhapsody-owned Napster Europe caused some raised eyebrows, confused head-scratching, and probably an internal memo or two, when he was quoted in an Inquirer interview saying that streaming platforms will always be mainly discovery tools for buying CDs.

“[Music streaming] will never become the primary medium … Streaming will mainly be used as a means for discovery, to make sure they like something before they buy.” —Thorsten Schliesche, GM Napster Europe

The remark clearly didn’t play well, so Schliesche went back to The Inquirer to revise the record. “I’d like to clarify what I meant by my comment. What I meant to say was that streaming services will become the primary source for music but will not be the only way that people get music in next few years. [Emphasis added.]

Napster, which evolved from the unauthorized 90s-era file-sharing platform of that name, operates as a Rhapsody subsidiary across several European countries, and has service-bundling relationships with global telecom companies.

Both Napster and Rhapsody are subscription-only services — there is no free listening beyond trial periods. That fact could encourage comparisons to CD-buying more easily than comparing Spotify, Pandora, or other free-listening platforms which provide a more stark access-vs.-ownership contrast. (We’re just trying to help.)


Brad Hill