Whether you love it or hate it, streaming is changing the music industry. Because of technology and the many advancements, the way we did things and how we are doing them now keeps changing. One of those things being changed is how we buy, see, hear and listen to music.
The music industry sector has seen many changes happening. But just what are they and why are they happening? Also, are those changes good or bad for the music industry, consumers and others? A lot of people are wondering about that and how it will affect them.
Another Game Changer
Make no mistake about it; streaming music is a game changer. It is doing it the same way that MTV changed the music industry in the 1980’s. It is also causing ripples just like sites such as Napster. Kazaa and other file sharing (P2P) sites did years ago. The harsh reality is that music streaming is a game changer. Streaming music is a phenomenon which has increased an astounding 93% in 2015 alone. Because there are so many people with access to cellphones, tablets and computers, the numbers keep growing. In fact, there were over 317 billion total streams in 2015 as well. Those stats are according to Variety.
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The Demise Of iPods & Hard Drives
Most of us spent years collecting music and adding them to our gadgets. Whether you used an iPod or your computer’s hard drive, we spend a lot of money and time saving our favorite songs. But the past few years has seen the demise of the iPod and sales of digital songs dropping rapidly. What is happening now is that more and more music enthusiast are turning to other options. Many of them are opting for paid subscription services with unparalleled access to music libraries. These ad-supported libraries offer never ending access to millions of songs.
The Music Streaming Benefits
One of the best things about music streaming is that you can get instant access it to it on the go, whenever you want it. Since it is both free and fee based, music streaming offers people numerous choices and opportunities to listen to the exactly whatever music they want. Now that most of us have smartphones and other electronic gadgets, the ability to use them to listen to music is easier than ever. The only minor setback or gripe most people have is that music streaming sites have many ads. However, that is a small price to pay for a service that allows you so much music for free. Still, those people that do not want to see the ads simply pay a small fee and get rid of them. This may explain why according to Nielsen ratings, on-demand streaming increased by 54% in 2014. In addition to being able to hear music, sites like YouTube allow you to do even more. YouTube not only allows users to hear unlimited free music, they can also see it via videos. This means that a lot of people can not only listen to their favorite bands sing popular songs, they can also see them on video.
The Negative Side Of Streaming
While most users love the numerous benefits that music streaming offers, others are not so happy about the services. Many artists, producers and music professionals gripe about the economic effect. Sales of digital songs has declined by more than 12% the past year alone. Music industry monsters such as Apple have been preparing for these declines. Apple recently purchased Beats Music and it is planning to roll it out on their iTunes platform soon. Other big name music artists such as Taylor Swift question how streaming music is undervaluing their art. She went as far as removing all of her music from the very popular streaming site, Spotify. Still, not all of those in the music industry feel that streaming is bad for the industry. Music producers and others note that music artists do get paid from streaming their music. This is why the sites have ads in place to help pay them royalties.
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No matter what side of the argument you may be on, the truth is that streaming has changed the game. Just like MTV, Kaaza and others before, there will be pros and cons. In the end though, users having an option to listen to music when they want, wherever they want for free, is a good a thing. At least for the music lovers and listeners.