During the Orchard's fourth-quarter earnings call on Thursday, CEO Brad Navin threw his company's support behind on-demand business models. The overall pie is growing because of these new services, he said.
"Early indicators are these new services have elevated the overall size of the digital market in the territories where they have gained traction. We will work to support these new models and work to have our client's content available to consumers."
Those comments were in contrast to statements made by Warner Music Group chairman/CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. during Warner Music Group's earnings call on Feb. 9.
"Free streaming services are not a positive thing for the industry," Bronfman said, "and as far as Warner Music Group goes, will not be licensed."
Many people felt Bronfman's comments were pointed at Spotfiy, which coverts free to paying customers at a rate not liked by all executives. But Navin didn't leave any doubt that he supports Spotify when he actually name-dropped the company as an example of the new breed of companies the Orchard will support.
A difference between Bronfman's and Navin's comments was the terminology each used. Bronfman criticized "free streaming services," while Navin lauded "on demand, ad-supported retailers."
Regardless of the words used, the fact is both took time during a quarterly earnings call to publicly take sides on the debate over streaming business models. It would be hard to believe either statement was an accident.