In London this morning, Beggars Group-founder Martin Mills addressed a crowd at the Entertainment Retailers Association, rallying against Billboard's incorporation of streams into their Top 200 Albums chart. In the full speech, available to read in full at MBW, Mills said that adding up streams to equate an album sale on the chart risks "reducing the oxygen available for exposure for artists whose natural format is the album." The industry vet, whose Beggars Group houses boutique labels XL, 4AD, Rough Trade and Matador, continued: "That will hurt all labels and artists long term, I believe, as lack of diversity will strangle innovation and music will become moribund and uninteresting, and consumer interest will erode. It will also disempower the artist since the major labels will regain total control of access to market." His address was lengthy and substantial, a solid read on the format war that still has artists, labels, retailers and tech companies at odds.
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