Music streaming is a controversial subject these days, and there are pros and cons from the perspective of users as well as artists who offer their music to streaming platforms.
The Obvious Pros: Value & Convenience
On the front end, music streaming services offer a lot of value. You get open access to the entire collection of music listed, which is pretty vast. With a hierarchy of playlists for just about every mood and genre, you can’t really go wrong. Streaming services are also great music discovery tools. Both Spotify and Apple Music have weekly playlists built around the style(s) of music you regularly listen to.
Streaming music completely throws the joy of physical ownership out the window. For most users, the convenience of streaming trumps true ownership. Some die-hard music fanatics love the concept of owning music and prefer it. Within the past decade, the decline in physical purchases has dwindled. This might not mean a whole lot to consumers, but it’s really detrimental to the music industry.
The Ugly Side of Music Streaming
The revenue that artists receive from music streaming is roughly 0.006 of a cent per stream. This might not affect the industry big-hitters who are occupying the charts weekly, but the smaller fish aren’t making next to nothing. Still, popular artists are receiving far less than they deserve. Physical sales are taking an enormous blow, and this is pretty common knowledge in the industry. Sadly, a lot of music fans don’t understand the severity of music streaming and its effect on the industry.
In general, music streaming is a very convenient and accessible way to listen to music, but whether or not you can justify the negative impact on the music industry is entirely up to you. Make no mistake, streaming is a really awesome way to listen to music. It breaks down a ton of barriers. Unfortunately, what the mass populous perceives as a “barrier” (paying for music) is a major income source for musicians.
Can We Justify It? What’s Next?
It’s up to music fans to become aware of the pros and cons and weigh them out. It really comes down to morals and values at the end of the day. As far as “worth” goes, it depends on what you value and what you believe is morally just. If you’re just looking for a nice bang-for-your-buck, then streaming is a no-brainer.
The portability and convenience of CDs replaced fragile, heavy vinyl records.
Music downloads eliminated the need for physical CDs.
Streaming is overshadowing the need to purchase and download music.
What’s next, and what will it do to the music industry?