The internet became a basic necessity, and it became available everywhere – at home, in malls, in schools and offices. So when it became abundantly available, music became so much more accessible. Downloading and buying music started becoming too cliché for the taste of the new generation.
Hence, Pandora was introduced, the first ever music streaming service. It launched in 2005 and pioneered the style of music recommendation service. This has grown into the biggest trends in modern music.
Different characteristics are included in the service where every song is analysed according to different features. This helps in getting the right kind of recommendation for listening to a particular type of song. Human analysts are assigned these characteristics who work with coding songs every hour. The information they gather, is induced in an algorithm that allows users to listen to a song similar to their own taste.
This has become more of a discovery engine and has allowed millions of listeners to millions of new bands and new music across the world. This kind of listening experience was previously unavailable. With every good comes the bad, the like and dislike button has also created barriers. New singers are always threatened with this feature.
Nothing, however, stops new waves and trends from reaching people. Back in April 2013, Pandora had over 200 million users and after its first IPO in 2011, the company was valued at $2.6 billion. The revenue is generated with the ads which are imbedded in songs which the listeners hear in between. For those like me who find it really annoying, can chose the premium package which is ad-free.
Pandora and other music streaming services have been on the receiving end of controversies. Especially from record label companies and singers too. Listening to so much content without paying anything is wrong for artists all over the world. Artists demand royalties for having their music on streaming services and they demand higher royalties for each stream. With rights holders earning — at most — cents per play, it takes a very large number of plays through a streaming service for the artist or record label to make any money.
Online music streaming services have faced big battles recently over royalties including Spotify. This is a very popular streaming service in America. Recently, Taylor Swift showed her dissatisfaction over the service and pulled all her music out of it. This actually helped Spotify gain public exposure and became a lot more popular than it previously was.
The young singer Taylor Swift pulled her music out of the service very publicly which loudly showed her dissatisfaction over royalties. Spotify is actually the fourth most used music streaming service in America followed by Pandora being third, iHeartRadio being second and iTunes Radio being the first.
Pandora paid very little rights to the owners of the music, and so this has a lot at stake. Singers and artists work very hard to create a music piece and deserve to be paid well. On the other hand, millions of listeners are using these streaming services and who is making the making? Of course, the services! CD sales are obsolete so this is the only way for artists to make money.
Recently, online streaming industry has surpassed digital music sales too. The music industry is already under a lot of trouble for allowing listeners to get access to the music for free or nearly free with streaming services as low as $10 a month! Whatever the reason, album sales are tanking, with totals hitting record low numbers, and online streaming is taking off.
It’s clear, however, that streaming services are doing well: not only are Pandora, iHeartRadio, iTunes Radio, Spotify, Google Play All Access, Rhapsody, Slacker, and TuneIn Radio prospering, but new names are entering the market as well.
A statistics showed that in Norway, piracy has gone down at a steady rate of 80% since the popularity of streaming reached the country. According to this shocking stats, if in fact it is good for listeners, artists will have to come up with a new way. It looks like music streaming services is good for the end users – the listeners and for the companies themselves. And bad for everyone else!
The biggest advantage is still the ease that comes with it. Accessing monumental amount of music at all times is one thing, not having to use up any space in the device is another! The consumer directly accesses the music from cloud and downloads selected songs for use when offline. It is hence, space efficient and smart!