Aside from reuniting with old friends and trekking cross-country on his current acoustic tour, Billy Corgan has also spent a fair amount of time recently expounding on his feelings on the fast-approaching future of the music business. Inspired by Apple Music’s recent launch, and their apparent kowtowing to Taylor Swift‘s disapproval of their business practices, Corgan gave an interview today to Benzinga outlining his theories about the apparently depressing future of music streaming.
Corgan sees Apple’s decision to pay artists during the service’s trial period as an attempt to “stem” a “rising tide” of ill will from independent artists, and suggests that further action from artists could help fix some of the outstanding problems. “The music business for a long time, and obviously Apple is in the music business now, it works on leverage,” he said. The way to take advantage of the situation, he argued, would be for artists in underrepresented genres to leave streaming services en masse. “That would hurt that streaming service way more than a singular artist,” he explained.
Later on, the Smashing Pumpkins frontman outlined a dystopian-sounding near-future where music streaming would be entirely corporate sponsored.
“It’ll be so-and-so music sponsored by Coca-Cola. It’ll be Coca-Cola putting up the money, Coca-Cola will take the marketing, the tech company will take the hardware sales and the music artist will get paid fair for what they bring to the market in terms of market value,” he explained. “That’ll be the way to settle issues.”
While it remains to be seen what’ll actually happen, he at least has his head in the right place. ” “If artists don’t profit, who is profiting?” he asked, in closing. ”We’re selling cell phones and laptops. How come everybody else gets to make money, but not the artist?”