Is streaming going to save the music industry?

Posted by on August 2, 2016


If you haven’t realized it yet, streaming music has caught on in a big way. It’s much more convenient to listen to whatever you want on demand than to purchase it at a a record store and put it in your listening device of choice. It took a while for Spotify, Apple Music and the other options to impress that on to music consumers, but to some, mostly pop and R&B fans, it’s become the primary way to listen. An article in trade magazine Hits Daily Double suggests that as streaming really reaches critical mass, it might return the industry to the days before Napster, when people started realizing they could illegally download music and CD sales began a sharp, sudden decline.

The article cites numbers, stating that Spotify has added another 6 million paying subscribers, for a total of 37 million worldwide, 11 million of those in the United States. Apple music has 16 million paying subscribers, 6.7 million of them in the U.S., but they’ve accomplished that in only one year. It should be noted that many of Spotify’s 6 million recent subscribers are ones that jumped on a 99 cent three month trial subscription. Regardless, the article posits that their combined 53 million paid subscribers will reach 60 million in the third quarter and 100 million during the first half of 2017.

How big of a part will metal play? Well, not nearly as much as pop and R&B. Lots of metal fans still listen to music the old fashioned way – by buying it to own. The most-streamed artists are ones like Drake, who’s had the #1 album for 12 weeks largely due to the ridiculous amount of plays his music gets via streaming. Last week on Billboard‘s streaming charts, Drake songs from Views  were streamed 85 million times. Looking at Disturbed and Five Finger Death Punch, two of the biggest hard rock artists, sees their current albums beign streamed 2.8 and 1.3 million times, respectively. And these are the bigger artists. Songs on Volbeat’s Seal the Deal and Let’s Boogie were “only” streamed 807,000 times. Granted, that’s still pretty impressive, but a drop in the bucket to Drake, whose album was streamed 105 times more than the Danes’ was. However, if Hits is correct and there are nearly double the amount of paid subscribers to streaming services one year from now, they estimate that 100 million subscribers paying $10/month will make streaming a $12 billion/year business. That will mean more money for everyone, including your band. The whole article, which is an interesting read, can be found here.


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Categorised in: Streaming Music