Writing about World Music

Davidson College, Fall 2015

Free Music Streamers = The Future

As we delve deeper into the 21st century, one might consider: is the era of purchasing music over?

We’ve come to the point as a generation where purchasing music has become obsolete or reserved for artist we hold close to heart. Spotify and Soundcloud were both game changing in the sense that they gave artists a chance to showcase their music for free through advertisements, or of course with monthly $10 or so premium subscription. Which is for sure a steal for someone who listens to as much music as I do. I have been an avid user of the media streaming websites for some time now and can’t remember the last time I purchased an album or simply felt the urge to. All I have to is flip a switch that would download it onto my phone and let me listen to it endlessly and once an album has run its course, simply erase and replace.

It has gotten to a point where iTunes, considerably the largest music vendor, has even added its own rendition of music streaming through Apple Music. Further showing that the shift is inevitable.

The only question I have is: How do we measure success once the switch is completely made?

I’d assume that becoming ‘Platinum’ will be near impossible and the number of listens on a track will determine popularity. The Billboard would have to adopt a new formula, and artists won’t make as much money as they used to.

Only God knows what will happen to CD’s.


1 Comment

  1. I definitely agree that the music industry has certainly changed over the course of my short nineteen year life. I could remember when I was in middle school, the best gifts I received were $10-15 ITunes gift cards. If you were the generous aunt that splurged one year to give me a $20 gift card, you would probably claim the throne for favorite relative of the year in my eyes. I would constantly go on the ITunes store to check if there were new songs on the Top 10 and Top 100 lists, and if I liked what I heard from the thirty second snippet that ITunes allowed me to listen to, I would proceed to buy the song for a fair price of 99 cents. Since my early years of high school, however, I began listening to Spotify, Soundcloud, and even Youtube playlists, and suddenly purchasing music became a thing of the past. As far as music sales for artists is concerned, however, I’m sure all the new forms of marketing and social media bring in tons of money in ways that were never possible in past years. It will be interesting to see how platinum records are determined with the decreased sale of records and albums, but I’m sure popular artists aren’t too concerned with the decreased revenue from ITunes purchases.

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