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Is Spotify A Profitable Airline?

The title of this piece might strike some as strange, and yes I know that a profitable airline is an oxymoron, but hear me out.

Many years ago, the New York Times Magazine published a fascinating piece where they interviewed the head of the Airline Pilots Association. In the article the union head said something along the lines of:

It is my job to make sure that the airlines remain solvent, but just solvent, and any cash flow that the industry generates should go largely to my members.

Interesting comments - and downright chilling if you ran an airline at the time - particularly one that was cash flow positive.

I couldn't help but think back to this line when I read the interview with Edgar Bronfman from All Things D

With Spotify seemingly succeeding in gaining traction with paying customers, I keep wondering to myself when the music industry is going to look at any positive cash flow provided by the company and renegotiate the terms of their contract so all of the marginal cash flow ends up in the hands of the music providers.

A profitable digital music business is like a profitable airline - a rare thing - and one worth taxing within an inch of its life - if you run the music business.

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