Why music streaming?

There are over 30 million reasons to start using a streaming service to consume your music and one of them might be your new favorite. The success of specials like that of buffets and bottomless coffees have shown us that as a people, we are insatiable.

If you were to ask a different animal what we as humans wanted, their answer would probably be “more”. This is probably where you’d ask to see a therapist because talking to animals isn’t weird but actually listening to them is just insane.

I have probably listened to millions of songs in my life time but since most of them where repeats this would mean that they would vastly out shadow the number of different songs I’ve heard. It’s clear that it would take me years to sift through all this content. In fact, if we do the math then we will get a better understanding of all this.

If we say that the average song is about 4 minutes and conclude that the average streaming service’s catalogue is about 30 million tracks, then we’d have 120 million minutes of content to go through. This is about 2 million hours or half a million days (which is roughly 1 369 years).

Streaming is also a great way to centralize all your music and access it from numerous devices. Cloud computing has been a godsend to the tech savvy world as the weight of all our content has taken its toll on our mobile devices. I can’t tell you how many smartphones that, I’ve seen, have complained about their lack of memory but I do know that one of these was mine.

The truth is that carrying 4 different devices with 4 different genres is criminally inefficient and sounds like something someone would do if they were running out of creative ways to get rid of their money.

When CD’s were at their peak, we would pay about $5 a month on music and that was during a time when we were forced to buy music we didn’t even like just to get to play that one song a couple of times before it gets retired to the back of the CD rack. Now we pay double this but are completely pleased because we get to traverse the internet’s worth in talent. If you can’t find an artist on a streaming service then they probably don’t exist.

The only problem with streaming is the amount people pay for mobile data usage could be astronomical if we’re not careful. Some mobile carriers offer unlimited streaming and that is what even former President Bill Clinton would say is a good deal.

 If the sheer size of the streaming service’s catalogue doesn’t attract you then maybe their additional perks might. Every service has its perks and each perk appeals to a certain type of individual. Spotify lets you create collaborative playlists and these are very interactive.

They allow you to get some of your friends involved and this makes choosing the music for that party, a group effort so that no one has any basis for complaints. Spotify also has the largest user base, barring YouTube, so this means that they are definitely doing something right.   

With Apple Music, you can actually use Siri to find a song for you. This seems a little trinket-y when you compare it to what it is competing against but it is a very cool feature that I feel Apple Users are going to appreciate. Apple users might be familiar with the service’s interface and that makes it easier to learn to use.

This consistency is what most people enjoy when they subscribe to a new service from a familiar software company. The integration of Beats Entertainment by Apple Music has armed the streaming service with Beats 1 which is what a lot of music fans might find most attractive.

Tidal has worked hard to create the image that they are a streaming service that is ‘by the artists and for the artist and people’. After Napster, Tidal pays the most per stream than any other service.

They are also owned by a basket full of the world’s biggest artists and DJ’s and in the world of exclusive releases, they are the royal family. They are also one of the only services to offer Hi Fi streaming. This means that, if your ears and equipment can tell the difference, you’ll be able to enjoy the best quality of music on the streaming market.

SoundCloud has the largest catalogue of music with well over 100 million songs to choose from, we are really spoilt for choice. The beauty behind SoundCloud has to be the amount of different undiscovered artists that use it to distribute their music.

Nowadays it seems like third person has a link to their SoundCloud in their Twitter bios. This should show you how important this service is, especially for the underground artists.

Streaming services are always looking to keep their environments fresh and new so they vigilantly hunt for new talent on a daily basis. The next big thing is just as important as having the latest artists on their services.

This exposes us to bands and artists that we might never have encountered with the previous models of music consumption. A simple playlist can change an artist’s life for the better. Who knows where that exposure could take them?

We are incredibly spoilt for choice when it comes to streaming services. Sometimes a switch is necessary for one reason or the other. If we think about moving anything from one place to another, it already sounds exhausting and laborious.

Some clever people have spotted this need for movers and have developed an application that allows us to move our libraries from one service to the next. The next time you want to move from or to a service like Google Play Music then you should think of the MusConv tool.

It has proven to be quite difficult for some people to transfer their streaming success into cutting a market for themselves and the elusive status of ‘household name’ is proving to be just that for some of these artists.

As great as streaming is, we must realize that it is not exempt from the one hit wonder phenomenon. Some artists were just destined to make one song that is loved by all and trying to replicate or deviate from that would do nothing but cement it.

Some artists have decided to boycott or window certain streaming services because of the money. These artists are big enough to make people take notice of their woes. The problem is that they often have teams of writers and record labels to pay off before they even get their cut and that can cause a lot of problems for them.

These artists have garnered enough of a following that they can afford to pull their music from these streaming services. For other artists, however, they can’t afford to remove themselves from the place where the consumers are. Being on a streaming service doesn’t guarantee success but it sure makes it easier to come by.

Spotify alone has about 140 million active users. These are people that are clearly interested in music. Removing yourself from such a platform could prove detrimental to your career. Well unless you’re Taylor Swift of course.