Streaming Services are Changing the Game of the Music Industry

spotifyStreaming service is here whether you like it or not, and it is certainly reshaping the music industry. Aside from giving audio technology experts something spicy to talk about, music streaming is the latest industry breakthrough. It increased by 93% in 2015 with some 317 billion total streams, as reported by Variety. Several issues come out of online music streaming, which would be briefly discussed below.

Benefits

Both free and paid music streaming gives on-the-go listeners the opportunity to listen to the music they prefer in a customized, portable fashion. More importantly, streaming is free in most cases, with the only catch of having brief ads that listeners have no choice but to hear every so often. Some streaming services offer bypassing those ads for a small fee.

Devaluing Art

The biggest issue being dealt by online streaming industry is the economics side. When Taylor Swift became vocal about her disapproval of music streaming, her concern was that the service would devalue the art of music. She said that she believes that music should not be free and predicts that artists and record labels someday will think about the price point of an album and that she hoped they wouldn’t underestimate themselves or their art.

The artists pulled her music off Spotify and later prevented Apple Music from streaming her album 1989 due to a 3-month free trial offer, which would not pay royalties. The company later agreed to pay.

Streaming is not a simple issue. Some professionals, including disc jockey and producer Armin Van Buuren, emphasizes good points of streaming especially for allowing people to listen to their kind of music whenever and wherever. The artist has over 1.4 million Spotify followers and he stresses that free streaming doesn’t mean artists are not paid. Their pay just comes from advertising rather than the usual sources. Other people see it as a troublesome ground for inequity between big and lesser-known names.

Moving toward Paid Subscriptions

Anything of value that starts out free will eventually go towards being paid. This is also the direction being followed by streaming, such as the case of Apple Music being available with paid premiums. Spotify is known for its free tier but is developing ways to generate more money, possibly to pacify artists. It is reportedly keeping off new releases from the free offerings but only temporarily. As companies offering music streaming continue to expand, they can face more victories as seen from how the others went well over the last couple of years.

Other issues arise from music streaming, including the quality of the listening experience. Audio technology experts are always concerned about what people listen to, but listeners find a way by searching for specs available and change player preferences. Companies are now addressing this issue by improving the quality of the streamed music. For now, nobody knows exactly what the future of music streaming would be. It is for the music industry to solve issues revolving around sound quality, pay model and others. What proves true is the excitement brought by the art and science of making music; whether it is heard via CDs, free streaming, Adelaide bands for hire or any other medium.