Read this: Dangers of speaking truth to power
Summary: PodcastDownload MP3 www.bbc.co.ukDangers of speaking truth to power…
Hello, I'm Andrea catherwood and welcome to the media Show podcast today.
Where do you get your music? It may well be Spotify the streaming service is 10 years old this week.
We're going to take a look at how it's revolutionize the industry and asked where does it go next well.
I'm on my guest today are John Mulvey who is editor of mojo which is now the UK's biggest selling music magazine and Eamonn Forde who writes about the music business at 4 at music Ally for 10 years ago guys.
Where did you get your music John and plus? I got it from now to be honest.
I'm I go I don't use Spotify huge.
Mum I guess in the absence of Spotify or probably use wunder2 illicit blogs that probably don't exist anymore.
I'm slightly ashamed to say I used to do a little bit of a nefarious downloading occasionally but mostly from records and CDs and Avon what about you 10 years ago before Spotify where did you get your music on iPod for using Spotify this point because they were giving out early in.
What's people in the industry as a way of kind of building up the kind of the buzz around the service but before that is probably coming out primarily CDs and download really and I tried not to use any legal site because I knew all the people who could put me deal for using them so I thought that would probably be working at cross-purposes probably wise will be a lot more on that later on but first.
This is how missing journalist Jamal khashoggi began his first opinion piece for the Washington Post just a little over a year ago.
He wrote when I speak of the fear intimidation arrest and public shaming is of intellectual and religious leaders who dared to speak their minds and then I tell you I'm from Saudi Arabia are you surprised Mr khashoggi has not been seen since entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last week the Washington Post published a blank page.
Where is column should have been Mr Joshi
I've been critical of the cider governments and I've been living in self-imposed Exile today Turkish television broadcaster CCTV footage from outside the consulate that they say shows a group of Saudi intelligence officers arriving just before his visit.
Would you let me know is Professor Ahmed Ali Al Rashid who herself is Saturday and a visiting professor at the Middle East centre at the LSE festival at can I just ask you a little bit about Jamal khashoggi.
He was a career journalist.
He'd worked as a deputy editor and added an editor in a number of different papers inside a he had been fired at times for being critical albeit gently critical of the government few times over the years.
So can you tell us how the climate has changed to the extent that he felt he had to go into exile very was there a lot of repression that sided with the arrival of the crown prince Mohammed bin Salman since.
Last November it's estimated that 1500 Saudis had been put in prison and they include woman activist human rights activist religious scholars economists and it's become very difficult so I should be she was very very close to power he was the spokesperson of the Saudi ambassador ticket for sale in London several years ago.
He was much more than just a journalist.
He had very strong connections.
Didn't he within decided well family at that you did he was loyal a journalist and but more recently we see that he diverted and try to take a critical opinion on some of the Saudi policies, but that became extremely difficult and then suddenly he turned up in Washington and became a journalist.
Writing opinion paper pieces for the Washington Post in the last year by writing for the Washington Post of course.
He had a much higher profile than than most dissidents he criticized the side about war in Yemen he compared the Crown prints at one point of Vladimir Putin was it what he was saying or was it where he was saying it that might have had this idea racing the most you think well.
I think there's two issues here German was an inside there and he must have had access to a lot of information that we may never know the second thing is that he ended up in Washington or of all places where the Saudis want to keep the propaganda going and starting a his column in the Washington Post are basically gave him too much attention in the sea where the child is want to maintain a narrative about a reformist scrap printing and additive a good relationship with them.
the current administration in Washington let me bring in at this point are from our New York studio Robert money he is the deputy executive director of the committee to protect journalists an organisation that promotes press freedom rubbing a prominent journalist like this can disappear in broad daylight does that suggest that journalist today are seen as fair Game by some governments is an awful expression and absolutely we seen around the world but for if this is true that a government Center hitsquad overseas to Snatch a journalist of this prominent than that that's that's a very big escalation and it has a chilling effect I believe on journalist outside of the countries who are writing critically about what's going on inside their countries was working for the Washington Post
Right to live in the US I would you like to see the US government reacted.
Do you think that they have any obligation to him? We have an obligation to him, but they have an obligation to journalists everywhere to stand up when those journalists are attacked or imprisoned so I mean we would like to see the US government take a very firm stand on this so far the state department has come out with an expression of concern so is the vice president Mike pence, but it's Donald Trump himself a really needs to lead on this and demand answers from The Saturdays looked up some of the papers that Mr episode she used to write for invite was editor and deputy editor in and I'll look at looked at how it was been reported in Saudi Arabia itself very little I can find actually I have to say one article.
I did find translated roughly as the Saudi Arabia's us ambassador condemns malicious leeks and Groom rumours surround.
Disappearance is that typical of the way the story is being reported by the cider press well yeah, but I do Embassy in Turkey the console there and also in Saudi Arabia there distancing themselves from the whole story as if it had nothing to do with them, but there is a picture of him entering that consulate and it is very difficult to know at the stage where this investigation is going to lead it may not lead us to knowing the exact identity of those who made him disappear or even killed him so we wait under the bed now is on the Turkish government because this is a crime that if it is a crime at the disappearance of the hash of we will have to be investigated in Turkey but I should you wasn't just at there a journalist.
He was very close to power he knew quite a lot and I'm sure that Saudis wear alarmed when he turned up in Washington and
Started writing an English influencing public opinion in DC which the Saudis want to listen to One narrative about the glorious reforms of the crown prince obviously press freedom is extremely curtailed with in Saudi Arabia are there any critical journalist still operating there absolutely not in fact the the MMR Jenners in itself quite a lot of the media is owned by the government or by princess, so we can't really talk about Media in the sense that we understand it here in Britain let said it's government-owned and it has become really just propaganda.
There is no room for any critical opinion except on minor issues that do not touch the heart of politics and all people inside the able to get access to outside Media I know they're not supposed to have satellite dishes, but I believe quite a few.
People do know they do have satellite dishes.
They are also active participant and social media Twitter Facebook and and all the available ones but they are heavily censored.
So if you want to Google my name in Saudi Arabian Arabic you would find a message to say that you have no access to this and it is sensor that is in fact an institution created by the government to look on at the internet and sensor what is deemed to be immoral or politically inappropriate now.
I know you're not a journalist, but you have written pieces for Media how do you feel when something like this happens, so close to you.
It's so alarming because they're especially in a place like London where so many Saudi dissidents and activist had taken refuge.
How many cluding myself I can't go back to Saudi Arabia and my nationality was withdrawn and 2005 simply because I was writing academic books which they regarded as very challenging.
And critical of the regime and therefore everybody in London where there is a community of Saudi exiles.
They are alarmed by this because it is not there.
No more safe spaces weather is the streets of London or Washington or even Turkey Robert if you are an editor and you're giving a platform to a dissident voice speed an opinion column or even just an interview what obligations do you have to consider their safety or you have to discuss with the person that's riding what the risks are.
I think news organisations like the Washington Post and and the BBC now take the safety of their journalists in the right is very very seriously but you have to remember that reported by nature independently minded and and want to tell stories and someone is it experienced and is intelligent this Jamal knew exactly what he was doing and knew the risks.
He had found a platform where he could address.
Important people in English in the United States but also his calls were translated into Arabic and that was just something that as a journalist he couldn't pass up and on the flip side of course if you are a dissident if you're a journalist with a voice you might think that by speaking out through the media and indeed with the reputation.
He had you would gain a degree of protection your and you know what that's that's actually a false sense of protection because there are too many journalists around the world.
We seen killed it countries like Russia they were very very prominent Jonas the journalist like Anna Anna paszkowska who thought maybe that she was so well known, but she was she was murdered and there are lots of other cases of that journalists life in authoritarian countries are really cheap these days and fortunately Robert manea from the committee to protect journalists and professor madawi al-rasheed there currently a jealousy.
Thank you both very much indeed to remind you of the media show.
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We give you interviews that we don't even have time to fit into the muesli 28 minutes that Radio 4 gives us each week last week.
It was animals extended chat with their Rob stringer the CEO of Sony music this week.
It is another giant of the media Bob packages boss of viacom that you asked and, at that owns paramount pictures Nickelodeon MTV and in the UK channel 5 which when I caught up with him on a recent visit to London was the subject of my first question Mr back if I asked him, what is your favourite Channel 5 show well truth, be told I live in the US I don't know I do think I've heard all they haven't seen it this Michael Palin show would you want and career it's supposed to be incredible and I think he is a piece of Talent and I'll be asleep at the subject matter or both intriguing and
Can I know where folks are really excited about and I'm looking forward to seeing it, but I haven't yet Michael Palin a piece of Talents well to hear the rest of my interview with firearms bob back is just subscribe to the media Show podcast and it will be with you later this evening.
I hope no Spotify celebrates 10 years this week when the Unknown Swedish company launched.
Its music streaming service buying CDs in Woolworths was still a thing today spotify's listed on the New York Stock Exchange is current market value is 29 billion dollars and it's the only way that many of us now get music.
So what is the next 10 years old for Spotify well Eamonn Forde is a journalist who writes about the music business for music Ally Laura Snapes is Deputy music editor of The Guardian and Laura Spotify has given people enormous choice and founds will say that it introduces you to two artists that you might never.
Find otherwise looking back over the 10 years.
Do you think it's been good for music? I think it is very hard to a kind of make a sweeping statement about it.
I think it's been really great for the consumer.
Especially the Casual consumer in terms of great for music.
Oh really depends on who were talking about as a beneficiary here.
I think it's been great for the upper ends of the record industry, but for independent artists who have had their revenue streams completely disemboweled by of is a biome spotify's terrible rate of return.
No, I don't think it has been good for them at all.
Even do you agree? I think if you're a really really small order stopped working outside of any kind of legal system that are made to enable or want to speak independent.
It's really really hard to get any kind of traction on Spotify and you need to generate that streams in the hundreds of thousands if not millions to see any kind of return Lauren admin to the boy that is good for the music industry natsume is because when I was right the by the music industry from The Turn of the Millennium it was basically.
The record industry with c and double-digit declines solidly and Spotify came along and it help I can't balance that I did say to the record industry with me cuddling into recovery in 2014 and Spotify was a major contributor to that till yet.
There's lots of money going into the record business, but then had the record business cards that up and passes it on the Artists is a whole lot of debate about you can have that we can look to the 1950s and terms of hiatus would be in short Chains by the record contract so it's kind of police stations really for the record industry is probably mention that we did invite Spotify to come in and celebrate their 10th birthday with us, but they declined off very kind invitation just on this objection to Spotify on the amount of money that they pay out to artists should the complaint not really be levelled at the record label a man touched on that they do receive literally millions of dollars a day from Spotify so couldn't they choose?
You spell it round more evenly among the artists and I completely speak on that was silly but speaking as a consumer unit somebody who does he Spotify and I do pay £9.99 a month.
I would be much more comfortable if I knew that that £9.99 was actually getting divided by the artist I listened to you know it might just mean 50p for Eurythmics this month but it's more than they might get you know if you to actually given the Spotify rate of return for every someone says I play Spotify really change the sound of music that is this idea that because it encourages people to skip certain songs then certain types of music do they better than others on the platform? Yeah? I think it completely as I think we've seen the structure of songs change inner verses and choruses hitting more quickly, so that people don't get bored and skipped them and I think also we've seen the homogenizer like the modernization of Sound yeah.
We've got that now the rain from rap and EDM and it kind of doesn't really sound like any of those things pacifically but it just has little troops of them woven throughout and I think that it has made music a lot more boring.
What time is protect Jon caramanica irregular discharge is it a Spotify core and I know what he's talking about you still buy albums I believe why is that im.
I do I mean if somebody has been a music journalist professionally for like 9 years.
I can't think that it's my responsibility because you know it's the industry that I work in and I get a lot for free and so I think that I should give back and so you even in a small way and if I listen to an album 5 times or more on Spotify I have like a personal policy that I will go and buy it but I also enjoy getting physical media as well.
I don't tend to buy a lot of new vinyl because it's overpriced but yeah, I want to pay it back somehow Eamon I mentioned the huge market capitalisation of Spotify yet last year it declared losses of 1 1/2 billion dollars, can you just explain the business model of the company? I mean it is does the business model actually work they've got what 18 million subscribers and yet, they still can't turn a profit.
There's a couple of different ways to look at this like and I can explain the BC
Fundamental model Spotify which is what is referred to as a freemium model so they've got a free ads appeared narrative users who use that and then there's the subscription here generally attempt On Demand but then you've got family packages.
It's discounted in Sutton market and so forward and that where they the properties support following would argue the case that in the last colour for five years that it could be turn the proper but it's investing in R&D so it's buying up small companies with barber company quote from here to go cold the Echo nest which is a fundamental part of its recommendation algorithm and just-in-time the pipeworks is a service.
It's so far ahead of everybody else because it started by up little small companies artificial intelligence companies data analysis companies, so it's investor a lot in that.
It's also it kind of expanding internationally so there are massive massive growth stage so we can parallel that with Amazon to this day the famous to Jeff bezos line, which is it by marketside.
We worry about proper Billy
Lolita Spotify as a dominant player in the market until a couple of years ago and apple music is very much kind of closing the gap on a particularly in terms of subscriber numbers in the US which is still the biggest market for recorded music through Spotify suddenly got a proper Challenger on its hands and then you've got coverside challenges like Amazon coming in as well, which are rich and a much more mainstream audience by bundling music in with a service like crying because the idea of the mainstream consumer paying £10 a month for a subscription to have access to 40 million sold most consumers.
Don't want that to spotify's got finite to ceiling in terms of the audiences ago that the we'll have a very loyal heavy consumer audience, but that's still only the tip of the iceberg off the doctor total consumer base but Spotify I would argue that eating gross development at the moment so and it's kind of everything that it's spending in R&D is a down payment to ensure that it stays.
Ahead of the competition run by the investors of tolerating the losses at the big game at the moment because they figure that there's a lot of profits ahead Spotify salsa moved into producing original podcast is that an obvious and with what you're saying about Apple perhaps an essential tactic to diversify away from being so dependent on record labels for content, but I still think that's a Small Part of what people are consume.
I think it's really about it.
What people in the in the Tech industry are referred to as well time.
It's basically how long do you spend within the Spotify ecosystem, so they've got a radio station offering they've got podcast they got music.
They started have to water a lot more with video content so it's really about they want you to just to stay in the Spotify rule in the same way that Google wants you to come to stay in the Google ecosystem, so they've got a Gmail big got Google for search.
YouTube all these different things so it's kind of part of that if they want Spotify to be the main place that you go to for music or music related content let me bring it at this point are John Mulvey his editor of mojo JoJo also having a bit of a birthday celebration that says it's your anniversary this month 25 years in print.
You know the UK's biggest selling music magazine, but you still put an old-fashioned CD on the cover every month.
I tell me is mojo the antithesis of Spotify well.
I think I think our readers are generally kind of Economics Twickenham ecumenical.
Sorry, but I'm fairly sophisticated about the way that I actually listen to music and I think you will be disingenuous of me to assume that the only listening to dusty old vinyl all the time they clearly listening to CDs and using Spotify as well.
Do you know that uses for different things but I do think they are still collectors heart that they still wedded to the physical Media that's
Find a lover magazine so much, it's kind of fun when we started publicising r300 birthday r330.
We had me going to 300 church coming to the time people started sending in photos tours of their entire collections of the magazine.
You know they've they've kept everything very diligently and shelved it all and it's and it's a real collect mentality is like what Laura was talking earlier about casual consumers to use Spotify I think I'll listen our readers might use Spotify but I think they are they going there to hunt obscurities.
Do you know what I mean that it's like there's there's a way of of getting into the kind of cracks between the playlists on Spotify and finding things occasionally that you might not be able to find on fighting fish comedian that something that I only use it for but it's kind of it.
Yeah, I think they still loves physical media and that's why the CD is still useful is a cherishable well curated kind of compilation that we put together every month so let's let's look a little.
Mojo itself then because I'm interested in how you've managed to outlive all those famous titles the nma smash Hits Melody Maker what did you manage to do that? You're not very cheap publication either.
It's £5 and issue.
How come you are still there and they're not worth it.
I think I'm our readership is still passionately invested in the idea of Music magazine basically.
You're not a lot a lot of the maybe grew up with the enemy and Melody Maker you a lot of has actually worked on the enemy and mileage making various other magazines in her younger days, but that but I think that people still Trust critics that they still that they still have an investment in an idea of of of in-depth writing about music and it can't be done in in a in a very Swift opinion piece online but that takes her a lot of legwork and report a strong was there only room for one and the MOJO managed to be that one that made it will motor go left first Mojo's the best.
Would say that but I think but it's still a surprisingly busy Museum magazine market actually at the moment if you go into it into one of them High Street newsagents.
I think there's still think think the astounding number of magazines on the racks.
You know it and then they are predominantly specialised there that they serve specialist agencies, but those that but those audiences is still really kind of engaged what we do and your demographic presumably is skewed towards middle-aged men amino shaman that but when I look at the kind of people you've got in your current issue, Damon Albarn Elvis Costello Ray Davies nostalgia.
Seems to be a key part of your strategy history Roman soldier.
I think quite often but I also think that we treat those people who live artists rather than once preserved in Aspic the.
They're still having evolving and interesting careers and still making really interesting music and CD on your cover is not going anywhere as soon as you back.
At the moment because we've been talking about Spotify on at Leeds me nicely and that seamlessly onto talking about the hardware that you might be listening to it on because this week.
We've had developments in the world of smart speakers Facebook and Google both launch.
New models and they come with the ability to stream music to explain to me.
Why are tech companies nice so obsessed with getting us all to have one of those what is the advantage of having their smart speaker rather than another speaker that plays the music to the products make an earlier about boobie ecosystems, so if you're an apple consumer.
You will have a Mark you have an iPhone you might have an iPad and they've not got there on smart speakers to the exact same with Amazon so if you shop with Amazon and was in Zoe's tied into your account and Facebook obviously he's making that moving those well, so it's basically they want to come home not only the content or the portal but they actually en10 home the hardware that that.
Text you that the huge part of that is voice-over to kind of voices the dominant audit although the growing search driver for a lot of people having to type into the search engine you speak into it.
So it's basically konta playing on artificial intelligence voice recognition technology and so forth and obviously Amazon with the kind of the first player in the market with that Beverley that just saying that that is a fast-growing market the actor is the biggest selling hardware brand 4oD go anywhere in the world night, so they all say that this is a burn Mark and because of that magic ingredient of boys people have to upgrade I mean dedicated speakers on this is going to be a massive be married.
It's got to be audiophile market as well.
So it's very much of my family home device disadvantage by the fact that it does not yet have its own branded smart speaker not necessarily because they don't have the expertise in hardware someone like apple.
It makes absolute sense for able to move into that 2bs.
Spotify has failed some patents are around at that may just be a kind of a protective measure but as I think Spotify is more concerned about other people access and Spotify through this because rather than a rival firm streaming service to the moment.
I don't see them going into hardware certainly not they would they certainly couldn't compete with an apple in terms of design they couldn't compete with an Amazon in terms of kind of global kind of Fire brand recognition and reaching sofa with such that they they might do that because there's obviously there's greater profitability and hardware than the reason cover taking a percentage of streaming revenues, but they be at the massive massive disadvantage of the joined the rest now ok.
We should be watching waiting to see what happens there but for now and forwards Laura Snapes and John Mulvey thank you very much and do them.
Also to my other guests today remember that you can of course I download a Podcast to hear the program and more including that interview with the boss of viacom and do join us.
At the same time next week.
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