Metallica's management company Q Prime has defended their decision to put their album catalog on Spotify.
The move in December reportedly knocked down their album sales by 15% on their normal December sales figures on the week they were added to the streaming service, then 35% the following week, according to Billboard.
Cliff Burnstein from Q Prime said he expects the band to eventually make more money through streaming, even if traditional album sales completely stop, because musician royalties will rise as more people start to pay a subscription.
"There is a point at which there could be 100 percent cannibalization, and we would make more money through subscriptions services," Burnstein told the New York Times. "We calculate that point at approximately 20 million worldwide subscribers."
It's not clear when Spotify will reach the magic 20 million subscriber figure, but it has a long way to go.
Spotify already has 20 million people using the service across 17 countries, but only one quarter are currently paid subscribers. The rest are using a free tier, though it is expected to see faster growth as it expands into new countries.
Could Metallica's commitment to streaming be another sign that it will overtake regular CD revenue as it has in Europe for indie labels? Let us know what you think in the comments.