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Too much advertising on music streaming sites will drive consumers back to pirated sources, says Samsung Milk Music boss

Nicholas Wodtke (right) at Music Matters

Nicholas Wodtke (right) at Music Matters today

The regional head of Samsung’s Milk Music said today that music streaming sites needed to be avoid deluging consumers with advertising or risk pushing them back towards pirated sources.

Talking at Branded’s Music Matters conference in Singapore this morning, Nicholas Wodtke, vice president of media solutions center, Southeast Asia and Oceania for Samsung Milk Music, said the industry was still going through a process of trying to “normalise” the relationship between consumer and artist.

“Consumers have been spoilt. They’ve gained access to an enormous volume of content at no cost, and the industry has not been able to deal the impact of technology. We’ve trained the consumer to think music is free. That won’t work in the long run. Artists need to be paid. The industry needs a revenue stream.”

But the industry needs to be very careful how that revenue stream is filled or risk pushing the consumer away, Wodtke said.

“We have to go gently in developing the music payment model, and one of the key knobs to play with is advertising.”

“We don’t want to jam up these sites with advertising otherwise consumers will go to a pirated version,” he said.

“We have to slowly nurture consumers through the process by offering a better experience and say here are the advantages of premium platforms.”

“We’ll see a free component of music delivery in the future, but we have to migrate customers from free to paid. You’re not going to train someone who’s had free content all their lives to switch to a high premium product, but the future will be a mixture of ways to pay,” he said.

Samsung’s Milk Music service launched to compete with Apple’s iTunes Radio and also streaming radio services such as Slacker, Pandora and Spotify. Unlike services that offer paid subscription options for ad-free listening, Milk Music is ad supported.

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