What has streaming done to the music industry?

I’m curious as to what the phenomenon of streaming means to everyone here. Do you see it as a good thing or bad thing?
Let me know your thoughts.

I can’t even get over 1k streams so I’m going to say bad thing.


What the fuck is “steaming”?

well @Kallgeese, you’re an odd fellow, but you sure know how to steam a good music


Great for the consumer (while it exists - it could go south at any point) pretty terrible for the musician with less than half a million streams per month, pretty useful for those pulling in big numbers


I could easily write 10,000 words on the subject - including how it has repercussions on PR & music journalism plus how tech’s ‘zero margin’ growth models are pretty bad for the economy in general (by which I mean the cost of Spotify/insta/whoever doubling their usership incurs almost zero cost to the organisation and doesn’t lead to any additional employment)

But hey, that’s the digital economy

At best count over the last 5 years I’ve racked up about 150,000 streams across various platforms and with the exception of Bandcamp - where I’ve made close to £1k - being on these services has actually cost me roughly the same as the income they’ve generated and it’s only very recently that I’ve come to any kind of break even point

If you could knock out 10,000 word it would probably be an enormous help to caoirneward.


Before bad or good get thought about, it’s key to realise that it’s an inevitable thing. Digital technology and the internet have produced conditions where it couldn’t not happen.

in many respects it is a bad thing, but getting angry about it happening makes you a modern day King Canute in my book.

(That said, I still buy records and cds)

I work for a small, incredibly niche record label, and streaming has been pretty good for us and our artists.

Our downloads over the last 5ish years have decreased hugely, but streaming has picked up most of the slack and then some. Total income from the two combined has remained consistent (and is split evenly with artists in majority of cases). We’re now at a point where streaming earns us more than our downloads each year, and it’s likely to stay that way for a while.

The main advantage is the massively increased reach. We have millions of people every year listening to our stuff via streaming services, including of music released 30 years ago which sells zero physical copies for years on end. Through having tracks included on popular playlists we’re reaching people who wouldn’t ever come across our ‘genre’ of music in any other way. Our physical and download sales are in the mid-thousands of units annually combined, so streaming has certainly helped to make more people aware of the artists we release.


What has @caoirneward done to the JAG industry?


Should have been wise enough to incorporate their jag into this thread though eh?


I charge €1 per word

It’s kind of incredible that the current services exist like they do and are as cheap as they are, and as @bodyinthethames says they could fall to bits at any moment.

Worth comparing music streaming to video streaming. There’s no platform that offers every single film/tv show. Instead you have to subscribe to loads of them if you want everything, and even then there’ll be gaps. There’s no consideration of doing that with music streaming. Consumers want absolutely everything in one place for a comparable price to a single video streaming service. Video services can get away with producing exclusive content and people are generally happy about it. When music services dabble with exclusivity, it causes outrage.

No easy solution, of course. The change it’s made for me is that I’m more inclined to stream music from big artists, and way more inclined to buy records from smaller artists who won’t get many streams.

I agree with @suapth in saying that reach has gotten bigger, and new fans are able to listen to your music in ways they were not able to before.
I also think that the in depth analytics that come with streaming are effective in the sense that you are able to see the consistency of the engagement of fans, because someone may buy your album and never listen to it again. Though with streaming you can see that people are listening on a regular basis.
It is also effective in terms of seeing what music works and what doesn’t, so that you are able to create music that is more suitable for fans.

I agree, I used to spend heaps of time illegally downloading music.


I used to download all sorts of amazing weirdo music from blogs and their rapidshare megauploads. Now I don’t :man_shrugging:

Out of interest does this apply to digital downloads as well or is that a completely different question? I’m just curious as to what margins are like for places like bandcamp who offer download options for digital releases.

Really really really hope this doesn’t happen for most bands. Nothing worse than an A&R guy telling you how your next album should sound and be about based on some previous analytics.


Can’t I just fill a survey?