Is Streaming a Good or a Bad Thing for Our Music Industry?

Spotify. One of the original online music services where users are able to listen to millions of songs at their convenience.  2016 saw a huge growth in streaming music online with over 975 million songs streamed on Spotify in the UK  alone which doubled from 400 million in 2014.  As streaming music increases in popularity, companies such as Apple, Amazon and Sound Cloud have also introduced their own versions of subscription based music streaming services.

Drake (pictured above) was the most streamed artist in 2015 and 2016.  Credit: Wikimedia


All this has seen a decline in more traditional ways of consuming music as even digital downloads are declining faster than CDs. In the first half of 2016 digital downloads declined by as much as 20% in some countries around the world.  This has had a detrimental effect on the music industry at times with one band achieving more than one million streams on Spotify, but barely making any royalties from this total.  They were only lucky enough to make $0.004891 per listen they had which amounted to their total earnings from one million streams on Spotify being just $4.955.90.

Streaming has also brought consequences for new artists who are trying to break through to the music industry due to the ‘playlist’ era. More people than ever are listening to ready-made Spotify playlists and it can be very difficult for new artists to make it on to these playlists unless momentum around them is building.

However, it’s not all bad because last year saw the American music industry’s first year-on-year growth since 1999 all thanks to internet streaming services helping it to grow by 8.1%.

Will streaming music via services such as Spotify and Apple Music overtake the more traditional formats of purchasing music? Only time will tell.




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