Technology has brought changes to almost every area of our lives. Whilst it has created some problems, it has also provided new opportunities. Music streaming is one comparatively recent phenomenon. It’s here to stay and can benefit both listeners and musicians alike. There’s a number of different platforms people can subscribe to, ranging from Deezer, Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, and others.
Let’s take a look at how it can benefit you as a musician.
1. It’s becoming the top way people listen to music
In the past, artists made money through selling physical products, be they records, cassettes, or CDs. These days, digital music is what people are coming to prefer, like it or not. This is partly due to the massive global increase in the use of mobile phones. The exciting news is that streaming music can reach a massive global audience, presenting a resource that can generate financial income. People can be literally introduced to an audience of millions. People who prefer to own a CD will be comforted to learn that they can often download digital music onto their phones, so it can be stored and used when they are offline.
2. The power of playlists
It’s interesting to know that streaming providers have teams devoted to creating playlists and discovering new talent. In addition, the actual streamers themselves can create their own playlists. Once you have done all the work of getting your song on streaming platforms, it’s worth considering the use of organic marketing to help you appear on active playlists. Outside professional help can give the extra boost that a musician needs in order to be heard by real listeners. Marketing companies often provide supporting data to reveal the successes or issues highlighted during their advertising campaigns.
It’s easy to circulate music
Authors used to need a publisher before they could release a book. Musicians used to need a record deal before they could proceed. Digital technology has now removed these gatekeepers. In 2002 iTunes started a revolution whereby ‘outsiders’ could top the charts as well as the “insiders.” Anyone can upload digital music and do live streaming these days.
Artists and musicians used to spend money and time on getting records, cassette tapes, or CDs produced. It wasn’t just the recording and the media that cost money. Album cover creation also took up time and money. When digital music and streaming came along, the process became simpler and quicker. Music could be uploaded and played as soon as it was ready.
Artists no longer need to worry that their CD is out of stock in shops, or that they don’t have a retailer in a specific country. Digital music and streaming can reach the entire world. There are many platforms, so the more a musician is featured on, the better. A band or singer’s voice needs to be heard wherever the potential audience is listening.
4. Income can be generated
Most streaming sites give 70% of the money raised to the artists and bands. Shops that sold physical music products may have paid a lower percentage than that. In the past, some people would be prevented from buying albums due to a lack of money. The great thing about streaming music is there can be different subscription packages available, to suit all finances. Some accounts are even free.
It is really frustrating when a band releases an album for sale, only to find it has quickly been uploaded onto Youtube or an illegal download site. Fortunately, the success of streaming is helping redirect some people away from pirate sites to the paid and legal ways they can listen to music. Therefore, you won’t have to worry too much about this.
Different platforms have different rates of pay, and there are variables even within the same one (e.g., for different countries, currencies, and account types). Spotify will pay any artist who has a song played for over half a minute. As an example (and using UK currency), 10,000 streams over 30 seconds will generate around £40.
5. It can be a route to fame and fortune
The desire of streaming companies to find new talent can be very lucrative for the individuals involved. A classic case history is Chance The Rapper, who was featured on the front page of Spotify. Never before had a streamed-only album reached the Billboard 200. Ambitious musicians will be encouraged to learn that he got a Grammy out of it too!
As we have seen, digital music and music streaming is the way of the future. Rather than being a problem, music streaming can be harnessed to an artist or band’s success and become a genuine tool for financial income and popularity. Spotify speaks in terms of people gaining a fanbase and monetization that can be long term.