Are music streaming apps actually a good thing?
Streaming music has certainly resulted in a new direction for the music industry. As such, people are able to access their favourite tunes at the touch of a few buttons and sample new music on their smartphone devices alongside listening to the station. Are music streaming apps actually a good thing for the industry, though?
Apps have become an integral part of our lives in today’s innovative world, where people want on-demand services and instant access to a variety of entertainment options. One look at other genres illustrates just how impactful these types of services can be, with fans of movies and television continually flocking to services like Disney+ and Netflix to access the latest and greatest hit shows from film and television.
Likewise, thanks to the powerful smartphone devices we’re able to purchase with ease today, gamers can unearth a whole selection of gaming titles within seconds on a mobile phone device. Sites offering slot games based on popular movies like Ted are a favoured option for many, while augmented reality products like Pokemon Go have elevated the all-around gaming experience on a smartphone device for others. Then there’s massive releases like Among Us and a whole host of other titles smartphone gamers are accessing on a daily basis.
In terms of the music options, there certainly isn’t a shortage of choice. In fact, it has become a rather saturated space as companies try and disrupt the monopoly from massive players in the space like Spotify and Apple Music. Apps like Deezer and YouTube Music are aiming to offer something a little different, although in reality, the service is pretty much the same. Ultimately, though, for fans, it provides a comprehensive selection of music with a tap on a smartphone screen. All you need is a smartphone and a pair of headphones, and you’re good to go.
Music streaming apps aren’t full of endless positives, though. In fact, for the artists you’re listening to, the service offers very little reward other than exposure. It is certainly a step-up from illegal downloads, which plagued the industry in previous times, but the hit in terms of royalty payments has riled a number of massive names within the industry.
It isn’t just the artists which are left short in terms of income with streaming services like Spotify, so too are the producers, songwriters and record labels. It comes as no surprise then to see more bands and artists needing to arrange more tours and shows as a primary way of making money from the talent they possess.
Streaming has changed the charts too, as the UK Official Chart company equates 150 streams to one sale. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it has resulted in some major artists flooding streaming services with non-singles in an attempt to dominate the space and the charts in the process. It happened recently as Ed Sheeran’s album ÷ had an astonishing 16 tracks in the singles chart. Thankfully a new rule has been introduced to stop this from happening again, but it highlights one of the many ways that on-demand music services have changed the way we listen to music and how the music industry now functions.
For some artists, streaming services aren’t a welcome introduction to modern society. Adele and Taylor Swift have withheld their albums from such services recently, with Swift having a particular gripe with them. For independent artists the earnings can be even smaller too.
Ultimately, if you want to support an artist, then listen to them on the radio and go and see them live.
(Image via https://twitter.com/cosound)