Today is a great day for Australian music. We now have the two best streaming music services live in Australia: Rdio launched back January 2012, and today we have Spotify. I’m a big fan of streaming music and I really believe that this is the future of music listening. Here’s why streaming is important:
Music is our culture. Streaming models give greater access to more music. The more that people consume music, the better.
We’re seeing a major shift in consumer behaviour away from ownership (buying songs) to access (unlimited songs on demand). Some music fans and artists are unsure about the value of streaming for them, so I wanted to weigh in with my personal perspective: I’m a music artist with a bunch of records out, I’m a music fan that consumes music, and I’m one of the founders of a music tech startup based in Australia. Here’s the deal for me:
As a music artist
As a music artist, I earn money from various record deals, a publishing deal, and (previously) from touring revenue. I know from personal experience that most of my music income is not generated from the record sales themselves. Artists actually make most of their money from publishing, from merch, and from gigging.
Selling records is now a promotional tool that should be used to help the other areas of your music revenue. More plays = more exposure = more ways to generate revenue around your music. Streaming is great for artists once you embrace it. Simple.
As a startup founder
As a tech startup founder, we make music apps like Discovr for iPhone and iPad. Our job is to make it easy for you to find new music that you’ll love. Once you find new music, streaming services like Spotify and Rdio make it possible to consume that new music in a fast, affordable, easy way. Alternate modes of consumption are great for both music artists and fans. More music = more better.
As a music fan
As a music fan, I have a room full of crates of vinyl records. And boxes of CDs. And hard drives full of mp3s. And yet, I’m now using streaming services to listen to music throughout the day. It’s just easier and more convenient. I can listen to music anywhere, and I get constant access to new music that I’ve never heard before. I haven’t sold my vinyl, but if you’re a music fan, streaming gives you access to such a massive catalogue of music it will blow your mind.
As an Australian
As an Australian, we’ve been waiting for streaming music for a long time. We may not be huge in population, but I’m incredibly proud of our musical heritage. What’s great is that we’re seeing more and more Australian catalogue being unearthed by the streaming services and this is awesome for all Australian artists, music fans, and the industry in general. Both Rdio and Spotify have done a lot of work to represent local music, and while there’s still a long way to go, the depth and breadth will probably surprise you.
I say yay to streaming music in Australia. What do you think?