Niche economics

From Ben Thompson at Stratechery:

Spotify and YouTube Music Key and other all-you-can-eat services are ultimately suited for music that is broadly appealing — the same sort of music that has ruled the radio for decades. For anything truly different, though, anything with a limited but intensely interested audience, they are nothing but a bad idea — a way to both limit your audience and limit the amount of money you can make from your best fans.

Sage analysis on both Zoë Keating’s recent Tumblr post concerning YouTube’s Music Key streaming service, as well as the economics of being a niche artist or selling a niche product. He talks more about it in episode 12 of his excellent Exponent podcast. As a purveyor of freely improvised jazz and other types of music similarly unappealing to the masses, it struck me as pertinent.