The way we listen to music has evolved dramatically over the past 60 years or so. When I was born CDs were the big platform people used for their music. Of course vinyl still existed, but was slowly was being replaced by the CD. Just in my lifetime, we have gone through three different platforms for listening to music which are: CDs, digital downloads for mp3 or iPod’s, and the most current, online streaming. All of which is a result of advancements in technology.
For consumers this is a wonderful thing because they have access to whatever music they want, at any place they want as long as there is a decent internet connection. For musical artist, it’s easier to release and distribute their music to their audiences, but now there is more competition than there was before and there is less money being distributed to the artist due to the streaming services grip on the industry now. This is also a problem for the Record labels and publishers in the industry. They also benefit from the instant access to music, but this new giant in the world of music is proving that there needs to be some form of change for the industry.
For the Consumer
As I’ve said before, the consumer is probably on the winning side when it comes to streaming services. It’s cheap, and they have access to almost all the music they want. What more could you ask for? For the most part, the sites are easy to use for most age groups, and they offer free and paid versions of each. In a survey that I conducted myself, one fact I notice is that people, unless they are super fans of an artist, will not buy music if they don’t have to. Here’s a link to my survey. Which of course makes sense, but that is a terrifying reality for people in the industry. If the consumer isn’t buying the music, how are they making the money?
For the Artist and Labels
People are not buying music like they used to. For artist, many rely on live performances and merchandising to generate their income. The labels are trying to recoup what they can from dipping into the other revenue streams of artist through 360 deals. Meanwhile streaming services seem to be holding the power when it comes to paying out the labels. All due to the fact that it is mostly unregulated as far as copyright law is concerned. Many are wanting there to be change/a solution to the issue. Until that happens, members of the industry look elsewhere to generate their revenue. Many take sponsorship deals, many promote their music to foreign countries, and vinyl is slowly making a comeback oddly enough. The question is, will it be enough?
Here’s a link to a video of the comeback of vinyl
Here’s a link to a video on whats happened with the industry and how Taylor Swift stood against the streaming companies
There’s no question that the industry is changing and will continue to change. Technology has moved it in directions no one thought possible 60 years ago. It’s a wonderful and difficult thing to work with. Online streaming is great; I use it daily. For those working in the industry it’s going to be difficult having to work with so much uncertainty. Where we stand with music today is at a place of opportunity and innovation. Understanding where we are and where the industry is moving is important if we expect to grow with it.
For more information similar and regarding the evolution of the industry click here