The now legit Napster is back in the headlines slamming the antics of big content. Napster exec Thorsten Schliesche says the music labels are being ’short-sighted’ for creating YouTube's music power. Napster and its parent company Rhapsody now have 2m paying subscribers after some trying times. In mid-April, the pair announced they had 1.7m paying subscribers and this has now risen to two million.
Schliesche told The Guardian that Rhapsody's partnership with mobile operator T-Mobile US and Napster's expansion in Latin America were key factors. But Schliesche said that Big Content had made YouTube one of its biggest rivals and now Google's online video subsidiary is now planning a full music subscription service it is going to be a problem.
He said that he was getting frustrated with the labels and YouTube. For a long time a lot of artists have not given their music to legal streaming services like Napster, Deezer or Spotify, saying ‘we don’t earn enough’. But the same artists have promoted their videos on YouTube,” he said.
Schliesche said that he labels have more or less created the power YouTube has for music promotion, without a real need. They have been very short-sighted.