Streaming Didn't Kill The Radio Star

Written by | January 9, 2013 0:03 am | No Comments


If sales have never been stronger for MP3s, finally beating out retail sales once and for all, what happened to the death of sales via streaming services?


1. Most people still don’t understand the concept behind streaming. They are too hung up on ownership.


2. The people who use streaming services tend to be music fanatics and so will buy what they can’t stream. Ergo, not much is being lost as far as sales are considered.


3. The casual music fan is not willing to invest $10 a month. That is 12 CDs a year or 120 songs. Most people don’t buy 120 songs a year and therefore streaming services are a waste of money.


4. Conceptually, people don’t like the idea of streaming music. In reality, it isn’t unlike paying your cable bill but it feels too insecure. You are buying stuff but you don’t own anything.


I’ve been among the ones who believed streaming music would kill off record sales but I think I misread the situation. Among my friends, music fanatics of a certain age, I can’t think of one who uses music streaming services. Part of the reason is not quite grasping the concept and the rest is disliking the sound quality. The former is silly but the latter is valid if your ears are good enough to discern sound quality.


ITunes are having banner years every year, so why would they kill themselves by starting a subscription service? And if Itunes doesn't’t start a subscription service, who is going to end record sales? Nobody else can do it. Look at it this way: why would ITunes go from a buck 29 a sale to a penny a stream? Unless they had to, unless streaming was taking a serious bite out of their biz why on earth would teach their customers how to spend 1% of what they used to?


In a generation, say, 20 years from now, it is possible subscription based record distribution will be the only game in town. Till then,  keep on spending.

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