He's been adamant over the years that the "fight free with free" approach is doomed to fail, and he contends that of-the-moment sites like Spotify have "not much hope of long term success," that such a system "cannot sustain the artist royalties, the copyright fees and the investment that makes the artist’s career possible in the first place."
It's a given that the manager of one of the most successful acts in the history of the music industry would have a slightly skewed (read: completely fucked) view of what it means for an artist to have a quote-unquote sustainable career. To his credit, he acknowledges as much in his column, but is still left with one nagging question:
In a world of 95 per cent piracy, where is the investment going to come from to fund the next generation of bands such as U2 and Coldplay?
And he certainly has a point. There is nothing happening in the music industry that would give any of us reason to believe a another rock band will enjoy success on the same level as Coldplay and U2, but what he fails to mention is that this is due at least in part to the fact that everyone is busy investing in an industry that will fund the next Black Eyed Peas. Or, to be ever so slightly less cynical, the next Drake. There's an interesting debate to be had about why the system currently in place can support certain types of artists and not others, and there is certainly enough perfectly warranted doom and gloom to go around these days, but it's also worth considering that McGuinness isn't so much trying to avoid the demise of the music industry as a whole so much as the demise of a music industry that's in line with his personal interests, financial and otherwise.