During these changing times in the music industry it’s very easy to hate the new kid on the block, especially when they challenge the way we have been doing things since the beginning. There are those of us who avoid change like the plague, then there are those who embrace it and seek to learn and take advantage of any new possibilities that may come along with these changes. Digital music streaming is definitely that new kid. He’s big, threatening, and selfish, but like many things he has a few unique sweet spots that should be exploited.

For the consumer the benefits far outweigh the downfalls. The quantity of music, ease of access, and affordability have made it a dream come true for music lovers. But the new technology has shaken the old music business model to it’s core, leaving many musicians wondering how to transition and make money in this new era. Here I talk about some of the more known downsides of streaming, but also offer a few goodies to chew on that you may not have thought about when it comes to the business of music streaming.

Music Streaming Pros & Cons

Streaming Royalties

Streaming is notoriously known for paying artists fractions of a penny, some as low as $0.0033 per stream. Some pay as high as a nickel or more per stream. But unlike downloads, where you only get paid once, usually $0.99 for a single (30% of which iTunes keeps), with streaming you are paid for every stream. So, every time a fan plays your song you get paid. Over time those plays can bring earnings that could surpass what you would earn from a single download. I see this as a plus, financially, and as an incentive for artists to create better songs. Death to the album filler!

Fan Base

It has never been easier for musicians and artists to release music. This also includes anyone who thinks they have an ounce of talent, making the pool quite crowded which makes it harder for you to possibly be discovered. But, if you make outstanding music, when people do stumble across you, the chances of you gaining a new fan increases significantly. If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m an advocate for better music. It has also been reported that customers of streaming services spend a substantially larger amount of money on live shows, CDs, and merchandise than the average listener.

Streaming Growth

Over the years streaming has steadily grown surpassing many other forms of music distribution and it shows no signs of slowing down. Unfortunately it may be inevitable that digital downloads may soon be obsolete with Apple announcing plans to phase out iTunes in favor of Apple Music. I think having options is a good thing, as everybody may not be ready to pay a monthly subscription for music. But nevertheless the times are changing.