Are Music Streaming Platforms Good For Music?

Music streaming sites have taken off over the last few years - but what are the benefits for us all? We took a look.

Through digitalisation, the music industry has struggled in the past with streaming’s various aspects. However, streaming sites show some strong benefits. 

Music streaming allows music to become more practical and portable. Music is available at any time and any place. Another benefit could be that streaming sites offer a large and affordable selection. 

Listeners have access to unlimited music listening implications and are easy to find favourite and new artists in all variations of music genres. 

But, streaming sites show prominent weaknesses and continue to have issues surrounding their business structure. 

For music listeners, a weakness surrounds the question of ownership and usage rights. Unlike the glory days of owning various CDs of iconic artists such as Tina Turner or The Beatles, music listeners do not own the music they listen to. 

Additionally, free users of streaming platforms receive a lot of ads between their streams. But, the question surrounds whether music streaming has been a positive or negative aspect of the overall music industry? 

 

Google Play

Formally known as the Android Market, Google Play is a digital distribution service developed and operated by Google. 

Launching in March 2012, Google wanted to emerge its digital distribution strategy with the Android market. 

The platforms serve as the official App Store for Android operating systems and allow users to browse and download applications developed with the Android software development kit. 

According to Wikipedia.com, Google Play is one of the most impressive digital media stores offering books, music, movies, and television programming. 

In 2016, 82 billion apps were downloaded and reached over 3.5 million apps published in 2017. However, Google Play had various issues surrounding security.

 One of the many benefits of Google Play is its unique ability to upload one’s music to their servers. A user can upload 50,000 tracks to the platform. 

This is useful as friend’s audio projects and non-official mixes can be stored efficiently. This has been revolutionary in terms of music sharing and online music capabilities. 

Its further growth strategy was its partnership with the anticipated music streaming platform, YouTube Music. 

 

YouTube Music 

 As Google Play repositioned its efforts in favour of YouTube Music, Google has gradually expanded its global support for various services. 

YouTube Music is the video web site’s way of entering the streaming world of Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora. 

The streaming site offers a large library of official and unofficial music. Similar to the other streaming platforms, YouTube Music can be used to download music and allows listening features without the use of data. 

Additionally, the app allows listeners to create playlists and can be unlisted, private, or public. This notion is similar to SoundCloud, a favourite of mine. 

However, the playlist feature isn’t a significant part of my choice of the preferred streaming platform. As YouTube is structured around video formatting, music video lovers would become obsessed with the streaming app. 

Deals such as YouTube Music Premium allows users access to unofficial, official, and lyric videos that can obtain more benefits than rival platform Tidal. 

However, YouTube Music has shown to not embrace the user’s algorithm well which requires more work from the users to consolidate and find content for their playlists.

 

Artists and Music Streaming

Music artists in past years had to switch their various marketing approaches on a more prominent focus toward sharing their musical content upon music streaming platforms. 

Because this is favoured for the music listening to the consumer market, physical CD sales and vinyl’s have declined in the past years. 

Music artist’s additional focus has swayed their promotional efforts to a more online stage. Interaction with listeners on social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, have become the current generation’s front-row seat to performer’s content. 

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Without the push for music streaming services from the global listening community, many artists have catapulted to internet stardom, as it has become increasingly easier to share music without the aid of major record labels!

However, it has been apparent in the last years surrounding the conversation of notoriously low-paying content creators on various YouTube channels. 

However, the upsetting trend does not stop at just video creators. 

According to SoundGuys.com, many of the streaming sites encounter poor structures of paying their music artists, YouTube Music just fits into that negative mould. 

Overall, the hugest notion of disappointment could be their payment. Artists receive lower  income from such streaming sites such as Spotify and Apple Music than when selling copies of CDs. According to Gigmit Blog, musicians earn up to $3.97 for 1,000 streams in 2018.

So, music streaming has become such an impactful approach to music listening due to technological advances in the past years. 

As music streaming platforms continue to provide dynamic music experiences, many individuals will continue to use them, without any hesitation. 

Music streaming has provided an outlet for music distribution to artists all around the world. This notion allows them to grow their following and create a functional career. 

However, music streaming platforms should consider effectively adjusting the structural problems of streaming services and pay their artists more.

Hopefully, as the online stage continues to grow, positive changes will be on the horizon! 

Photos: Shutterstock


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