Enzo Mazza, boss of Italian music body FIMI talkend about his thoughts (during an interview with Torrentfreak) on the topic of music subscriptions. He said:
The main issue here is not piracy. It’s how to convert people from free YouTube and Spotify accounts to premium services. Italy is a country where the ‘culture of free’ is radicated [firmly established] and it’s not easy to drag people into a subscription model… Conversion rates are still below the global average and this is a major challenge for the industry. We are urging in particular Spotify to do more in terms of promotional campaigns in order to engage new premium customers.
Calls for Spotify to "do more" on conversions have been a familiar sound throughout the company’s history. They continue despite the fact that as of the end of March, the company’s conversion rate was just over 46% – a barely-imaginable percentage less than nine years ago. That isn’t to say that Mazza doesn’t have a legitimate concern about how streaming is playing out in Italy in particular. In the last three years, the country’s recorded music revenues have (in order from 2016 to 2018, according to official figures) grown by 1.9%; shrunk by 3.9%; and grown by 2.6%. Its €228.3m of revenues in 2018 were barely more than the €227.3m recorded for 2015. Compare the last three years’ growth to the US (9.1%, 9% and 15%) or perhaps more relevantly to Spain (6.7%, 6.1% and 5.9%) and it’s easier to see why FIMI’s boss is unsettled, even if Italian resistance to music subscriptions isn’t solely Spotify’s problem to solve.
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