How Streaming is Changing the Music Industry

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The music industry has changed. Whether you like it or loath it, streaming has completely changed the music industry.

Following on from last week’s post concerning streaming services releasing their own albums. We will be taking a closer look into how streaming has and is changing the music industry.

Online music streaming is the latest in a long line of industry-shifting changes, from the rise of MTV and music television in the 1980s, to the Napster revolution that changed the face of music in the earlier 2000s.

Music streaming doesn’t look to be going anywhere, with an increase of 93 percent in 2015. So how has streaming changed the music industry?

The Benefit of Music Streaming

The main benefit to music streaming must be the instant access to a huge smorgasbord of music, with the ability to find anything quickly and easily.

Both free and paid streaming services give you a constant surge of new and old music to choose form.

This leads me to my next point, and perhaps what could be the most important, that music streaming can be free, or at least there is a free option. But as the future of music streaming changes, so may this, with an increase of paid for services being available.

Does it Devalue Music?

With the bottomless catalogue of music being its biggest benefit, it can also be argued as it’s main downfall. Having the ability to listen to a track once then throw it away could be devaluing music.

I remember when I used to buy a physical CD album, with the excitement of buying this new album I would listen to it over and over again, I wouldn’t ever dream of throwing it away after the first listen. But, with the ease of music streaming, music is as easily found as forgotten.

Whether this is a bad thing, I’m unsure, the fact that you can instantly discover new music, or find independent tracks you may have never had access to before, is great.

More Companies Moving to Paid Services

As with most free services, once one company charges for the service, the rest will follow suit. Music streaming appears to be heading towards being only available with paid premiums.

With the introduction of Apple Music this time last year, and with the news of Amazon recently announcing a standalone platform to compete with Apple and Spotify. The paid for music streaming services are growing.

With these companies also looking into other avenues to develop money, such as selling ads space to brands and releasing their own albums. Music streaming seems to be the ever growing currency within the music industry.

Does Music Quality Effect the Listening Experience?

Another hotly debated point concerning streaming is the quality of music, the highly compressed, lossy files that are used for streaming, take up less space, but can take away the original quality of the recorded music.

These setting can usually be altered on most music streaming apps, but then the greater the file size (and quality), the faster the internet or mobile data speeds you would need.

With advancements in 4g and faster WiFi speeds, and improvements set out by streaming companies. The quality of music should improve vastly in the future and hopefully will surpass the quality found on CDs or other medium we have seen before.

The Future

No one knows the future of music streaming, but looking at recent news and events, paid for services are growing, as to the music industry. With companies finding new ways to monetise their services, we hope this doesn’t affect the choice and availability of free music services.

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