Music streaming services have hit headlines hard recently, whether it be from Apple’s announcement of their new streaming service to Taylor Swift’s streaming rants or AC-DC’s move to release their whole back catalogue for streaming, it has been a popular subject matter. Along with these headlines, figures recently released prove that streaming music is growing significantly, so what is all the buzz about? And why do we care?

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Music streaming has almost doubled in the last year, and that’s before Apple Music launched. People are enjoying the freedom of being able to listen to what they want wherever they are and with a universe of new music and back catalogues from around the world, there is no wonder that music-streaming services are attracting the masses. With music streaming stories filling the headlines and announcements by corporations like Apple it has certainly helped drum up interest. Brits have already listened to 11.5 billion tracks via streaming services this year alone.

Using the Album Equivalent Sales (AES) industry metric, overall consumption of recorded music was up 4% compared with the first six months of 2014 and we are seeing more and more people becoming music fans from younger ages. Many music streaming services including Spotify and Apple Music offer family plans which offer discount to family members if they sign up to the service through another member. This encourages children to listen to music who may have not necessarily had the means to explore it before from such a young age. Combine this with the fact that with streaming you can instantly listen to any song you want anywhere in the household on multiple devices, it is no wonder that music consumption is on the rise.

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However, it’s not all good news. Many artists have decided against having their music on streaming services and one such artist publicly announced her concerns over streaming recently in the headlines. Taylor Swift went up against Apple’s new music streaming service, Apple music, because they were not agreeing to pay artists during users free three-month trials. In a shocking move from Apple this got overturned and they agreed to pay artists a discounted fee during these months.

One of the major issues with streaming services is artist exclusivity. Apple music has already secured exclusive rights to Pharrell Williams amongst a number of other big artists and it was announced recently that Jay-Z’s music streaming service Tidal is the only one to feature Prince’s music after he took it down from all other streaming sites. This shift in exclusivity could see fans getting annoyed at having to use certain services to listen to their favourite artists.

Jay Z Performs At O2 Arena In London

So what does the future hold for streaming services? If things continue as they are music streaming will continue to get bigger and bigger and we will eventually see a shift away from music downloads and CDs all together. Music downloads are down 10% this year and the number is predicted to carry on falling with the rise of music streaming and there were only two CD’s platinum CD’s in 2014, Taylor Swift’s 1989 and the Frozen soundtrack. No other compact disk hit a million copies in 2014!

It will be interesting to see how popular Apple music becomes and whether their audience will be listeners moving across from other streaming services or users who are new to streaming. We also predict that as streaming grows more and more companies will jump on the bandwagon and there are already rumours that Facebook are looking to make their entrance into the music-streaming scene.

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Streaming gives artists the opportunity to share their music online with their fans and it also allows fans to access the music they want to listen to form anywhere in the world. The Internet is being used more and more as a medium to share with anyone, anywhere in the world and it is not only music that people are sharing! Companies like Shareagift allow users to share their money online and contribute towards anything from shared gifts to worthy causes and events from the other side of the world.

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Written by Nick Woodford

I work as the Community Manager for Shareagift in London. I love all things tech, travelling, gaming, am a film buff and ski enthusiast.

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