We all know that technology revolutionized the music industry… And since then, the industry is in constant change. Nowadays, there are many ways and models of music consumption and there is no good or bad, right or wrong. It all depends on what the consumer is looking for and what is suitable as an artist. The music experience limited to albums and radio no longer exists. The descending trend of physical products is followed by the growth of streaming. Streaming is the fastest-growing segment of music consumption and it seems to be the way consumers prefer to discover and listen to music in the 21st century. For example, Goldman Sachs Group expects the recorded music streaming market to be worth around $37B by 2030. Music consumption has grown; more people are listening to more music than ever before. As a consumer of streaming services, it is mind-blowing, to have so much music available and at the same time to have an incredible discovery tool that exposes the user to new artists and new genres, personalizing the experience with cured playlists and algorithms. It’s amazing how streaming is influencing the music itself. For example, playlists are replacing albums as a primary consumption format. Streaming has helped artists and content creators to become more global. It is also a marketing tool, since it helps artists and analysts to have an idea of what consumers like and in which direction their interests are heading. Also, the data helps understand listeners much better. This data may help with setting better strategies and also how live shows can be booked appropriately. Last but not least, it also functions as a word of mouth advertising, users can share or suggest songs and playlists they like. Just like David Bowie predicted the era of streaming music “Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity.” The most amazing thing of his anticipation is that he also mentioned that the “future” music model was not going to be as profitable as the era of recorded music sales. The decrement of profit out of streaming has been bothering artists. David Crosby complained to Rolling Stone “I used to make money off my records, but now I don’t make any.” Also Taylor Swift is not happy about Spotify’s free option. Nevertheless, artists that have refused having their music available on streaming, are realizing that this decision is having more cons than pros, so sooner than later they are making their catalog available and conclude that at least they get paid something and even though it is a very small amount, they are getting something for the streaming of songs over time. Like it or not the streaming model has come to stay for a while!
By Paula Bustamante Sánchez @paubusa