Many people ask themselves this question whenever they find the time and mood to get philosophical and keen towards the economy of modern-day culture. Or so we hear at least. But this question actually does concern many listeners out there. So, is music streaming going to murder those physical copies?
Truth is, we kinda hope it will.
According to PwC, (it’s a company that deals in analysing and forecasting various information) this year’s streaming revenues will surpass those by CDs. By streaming, we mean platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, of course. To be precise – the rise in stream revenue will go up by 37% which translates as $9,1bn. The physical formats will go down by 10% and end up being $7,7bn. Easy now, don’t panic. This is actually good news. You know what else got predicted? Total recorded music sales. They’ll rise by 5,2%.
“The growth of streaming reflects how it’s become a preferred business model and user experience for most consumers. They like the combination of on-demand access to content [and] they like the convenience of having the jukebox in the sky that has been realised because of widespread broadband availability,” said Christopher Vollmer, who leads PwC’s global entertainment and media advisory business.
What does it mean?
Why it’s quite simple. As the music streaming technologies continue to find a place in our hearts and minds we’ll buy less and less CDs! Oh, and yes, it’s a good thing. Why? Well because maybe CDs are thing of the past now? Not a real argument, we know, but ask yourself this: When was the last time you bought a CD album and thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing?
Let’s do our favourite thing and assume a certain situation from a very specific point of view. Imagine you are a musician. Heck, let’s go crazy- you’re a superstar! You crack your first album. It’s a hit, second and third are also getting awesome chart scores. Now you attempt to sway in an another direction. Change things up. Marry a Japanese woman and maybe get a solo album or something… While you are still uploading your stuff over music streaming platforms, everyone that ever followed you will find out how your marriage worked out for your music. Let’s assume, that this new sound of yours isn’t as good as your former self. Not to your fans at least. What happens? They go back and listen to your previous tracks. Your pre-wife music.
Two ways it can end
One: you realise that you’ve made a mistake. Yes, you make music for the enjoyment of many but it is you at the heart of it all. So if this makes you happy now, so be it. Of course, if you’re not done with your career just yet, you get back on track and renew your friendship with your fellow band members. You get back to the thing that made you who you are. You may find yourself in Seargent Pepper’s lonely hearts club one day, but that won’t last long once you get your groupies back, right?
Two: You piss on your fans and keep going down the new road. Your music the new way. The band fell into disarray, you got weird…kinda, but you’re still cool. All until that one day you’re coming home from recording a track with your wife and…well…
Got a bit dark there, did it?
Ok, look the thing with music streaming being better is it makes the creative process a lot more available for anyone to witness. The fans won’t be able to help to make the artists tracks for them but in a sense, the artist will able to read them by the numbers of listened tracks. Thus will he know which songs stuck the right tones and which fell on deaf ears. Imagine going to the live concert and hearing only the best, most liked songs of the band, instead of what they think you’ll like.
The music streaming is a chance for many people to hear so many things! Why would anyone insist on making them listen to a set of preselected tracks is beyond our knowledge. Why make it all so inconvenient? So unnecessarily cumbersome? So 90’s? Yuck!
Get the grip of yourself music industry! Loose the CDs already!
Now, after all thats been written, you answer the question: Will the music streaming kill the physical copies?