Max Hole is Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Group International. In his keynote speech at the Music Matters Conference in Singapore, Hole informs us that Universal’s policy in Asia is now to “license to as many business partners as we can so that the consumer has as many choices as possible in the legitimate music business.” If this directive is true, it’s good news for streaming services. Historically, the failure to reach licensing agreements with record companies has been the dilemma for start-up music streaming services.
Hole goes on to say that the Chinese market appears to be bypassing the traditional model of purchasing music and “moving straight to one where it’s all about securing access to tracks.” Clearly, Universal wants to facilitate legitimate consumption in territories where middle income earners are growing. Hole says “In the last 50 years, the music industry has made 80 percent of its money in 10 countries.” Streaming music services are poised to be the technological infrastructure enabling many more countries to license music and consequently change and grow the business of music.