Label CEO: iRadio will help FM/AM webcasters.
Warner Music Group CEO Steve Cooper told analysts this week the label would welcome Apple’s iRadio into the digital radio business, saying it would “lead the charge” for other streaming music services and “accelerate the growth” for broadcast radio’s digital radio services. The shift from FM to digital helps the record labels because, unlike on-air broadcasts, it’s a way for them to get royalties from broadcasters.
“So hopefully, Universal, Sony, we and others in the industry will come to terms with Apple in the near future,” he said. So far, Cooper said digital radio services aren’t impacting music sales. Warner reported total music sales revenue increased 15% in the first quarter, led by digital download growth. “We haven’t seen any meaningful shift in consumer behavior away from collecting music,” Cooper said. He thinks Apple has likely seen research showing the same thing. “They probably noticed that radio hasn’t eroded the consumer’s preference to collect music and to control it in their own way,” Cooper said.
Broadcasters insist radio airplay helps sell music more than anything else. Using airplay and record sales data, a 2008 study conducted by a former Stanford economics professor estimated radio airplay generated $1.5 to $2.4 billion in music sales each year. The National Association of Broadcasters-commissioned study didn’t take into account ticket sales at concerts, licensing revenue or merchandise sales.
Read the study HERE.