It’s really hard to comprehend whats going on in the music business at times. We have reports that the future could be ownership by the consumer again, ie the vinyl boom that hit us last year with record sales being talked about, then we have what the majority of people believe is the future which is streaming services.
First, recently, streaming giant Spotty came to a new licensing agreement with record label giant Universal. Spotify will notably limit some albums to its paid tier for two weeks at a time, but singles will still have no restrictions, and Universal will reportedly charge less in royalty fees as part of the arrangement.
Second, Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo” became the first album to go platinum in the US through streams. It’s been streamed more than 3 billion times since its release in February 2016. According to the RIAA, streaming brought in more than half of the US music industry’s revenue in 2016.
Yet and its a big yet! A filing from the Swedish company, registered in Luxembourg, showed that despite revenues almost doubling in 2016, the company is making a bigger loss than ever.
The new figures, which come as Spotify’s paying users reach 30 million, could raise questions about whether the subscription model, which accounts for a growing proportion of music industry revenues, is sustainable in its current form. now according to Forbes.
“It’s safe to say that streaming music isn’t going anywhere fast, but something is going to have to change in order for many of these companies to survive” says Hugh McIntyre, Forbes.
What this change may be, we’re not sure, but we do know that streaming services as they are now cannot support the music industry. Something’s got to give, and we’re pretty sure it won’t be the customer.
According to some experts the digital download would disappear entirely over the next few years as it became redundant.(maybe as musical theft will never go away)
While vinyl sales still only account for 5% of the albums market, they are becoming increasingly important sources of income for record labels and musicians.
Jamie Oborne, the manager of Mercury-nominated band the 1975, whose debut album was Urban Outfitters’ biggest selling vinyl of 2015, said: “There’s been this cultural shift where people are willing to pay for music again which is brilliant. We now sell a ton of vinyl and the margins on vinyl are huge so it is really a significant source of revenue for us.”
The boost in vinyl sales is part of a wider shift in the fortunes of the music industry back towards turning a profit again. In December, one the biggest global record labels, Warner Music, reported their best profits in eight years, of which $1bn (£810m) came directly from streaming, and in the first half of 2016, streaming revenue in the US grew by 57% to $1.6bn. In contrast, CD sales were down 10% on last year.
I remember the future being 8 track cassettes then CD’s, then it being mini discs as the digital age kicked in. I don’t know the future and I don’t think many people do. What i do know is while you can get music for free and i do mean steal it (lots of software out there just for that purpose) whether from streaming services like Spotify, Apple music or YouTube or the myriad of other streaming services and of course torrent sites like PirateBay there will always be a rocky road ahead for the artists. OH i just remembered I use to tape on my Phillips cassette recorder the top twenty every Sunday evening, perhaps nothing has changed really and it’s always been that rocky road.
Ref: Tech Business Insider
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