New Warner CEO says music is ‘undervalued,’ calls for streaming platforms to raise prices

Robert Kyncl, the new CEO of Warner Music, has called on music streaming platforms to raise their prices.

Kyncl, who moved to Warner from YouTube at the beginning of the year, believes that music is undervalued compared to the film and TV industry. 

Kyncl voiced his opinion while speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, stating that despite its global audience, music is “the lowest form of entertainment in terms of monetisation.” 

“Everybody in the world listens to music, everybody likes music – it’s different for everybody, but they all do – which is very important because it gives us multiple bites at the apple to figure out our role in the industry, how we contribute and what share we take,” he said.

Kyncl noted that the prices users pay for music consumption in the US are half of what they pay for movies and TV shows on streaming services, noting that “music is undervalued, and this is not my opinion – there are actually numbers to back it up.” 

Kyncl’s comments align with his mission to develop Warner as “a technology-enabled music company.” He also commented on TikTok’s influence on the music industry, noting its similarities to YouTube. “At some point TikTok needs to decide how important music is for their future,” he said. 

TikTok recently came under scrutiny for piloting an experiment that tests the importance of music for users on the platform. They did this by limiting the choice of music available to users when making videos on the app, ultimately erasing a source of royalities for a vast number of artists.