Is Streaming Good Or Bad For The Music Industry?
Published: April 8, 2019
Music Streaming | Friend Or Foe?
There is a lot of debate over whether music streaming is good or bad for the music industry and the impact it will have on the future on how people consume their music.
Let’s Skip To The Good Bit
The benefits of music streaming are there, people just don’t necessarily see them. So this is the part of the post where we will talk about the benefits of the music streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music who are taking up large market shares of how people are taking consuming music.
Wider Audiences For Artists
Music streaming allows people who would never normally listen to specific artists to now listen to them. For example, if Ariana Grande is included in a featured pop playlist on Spotify and someone has never listened to Ariana Grande before then this will be the first time for them to listen to that artist and if they enjoy the music then it is likely that they will keep listening to that artist which means they gain another fan.
Up & Coming Audiences Are Easier To Pick Up
Up and coming audiences who don’t have a lot of listeners can be picked up by the big movers and shakers in the industry. Meaning that this creates opportunities for young artists that would never normally get these opportunities through conventional methods like trying to get to the front of a gig and throw their demo on the stage.
No More Piracy & Illegal Downloads
Around 10 years ago piracy and illegally downloading music through sites like Napster and The Pirate Bay were causing major problems for artists as it meant that people were obtaining their music without paying for it means they miss out on income from it. So at least with streaming the artists are getting paid per stream which is much more preferable to before when people would download the music for free.
The Negative Nancy
We’ve covered some of the good sides of music streaming and the impact that it has on the music artists in the industry but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows and there are definitely some downsides to this which we will cover now. So this is the dark side of streaming.
Low Payouts For Artists
Now for many artists, they rely on being paid by these streaming sites and apps in order to live their life and keep a roof over their head. This isn’t just for the big artists in the world like Taylor Swift etc this runs from the top down all the way through the industry and it is well known that stream companies pay really low to artists for the numbers that they get. The amount artists are paid for every song played varies from service to service. Spotify typically pays about $0.007 per song, whilst Apple Music offers a worldwide average of about $0.0056 per play worldwide.
You Never Actually Own Their Music
If you are a subscriber to one of the major players in the streaming game then you have the freedom to pick and choose what songs you want to listen to at any time. This gives you such a broad spectrum of artists and genres to choose from. The downside of this is that these artists will never receive the full amount of revenue that they would were you to buy their physical CD or merch. So if the artists aren’t making enough money to keep them together then this is where bands split up as music doesn’t help to make ends meet anymore.
You Can Drown In The Noise
Whilst streaming is a great platform for artists who wouldn’t usually get the conventional opportunities this also means that the platforms can be saturated with similar sounding artists. Which really makes it different to create your own sound and identity. So whilst it’s never been easier to get into music, it’s probably never been harder to make noise.
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