As we music marketing types discuss the virtues of streaming music, it’s important to pay special attention to what the Black Keys are saying here: “It’s becoming more popular, but it still isn’t at a point where you’re able to replace royalties from record sales with the royalties from streams. For a band that makes a living selling music it’s not at a point where it’s feasible for us.” They go on to point out that for smaller bands, services like Pandora can introduce listeners to new bands/music, and that’s cool — but it’s just not for them.
At first, you want to get sort of “upset” at the band. The whole world has moved away from buying music, and these guys refuse to get on board. What the hell, right?
Think about what they’re saying though. They make a living selling music. Streaming services are paying fractions of pennies, and obviously their label has to get its piece of the pie, so in order for the endeavor to make sense you’ve got to sell stuff. Mind you, they’re also playing arenas on their upcoming tour, so maybe they’ll make some money from gigs too.
It’s definitely an interesting decision and perhaps the only one that nullifies the power of streaming audio services.