There has been quite a lot of controversy when it comes to music streaming services. It’s often questioned for its fairness or lack of it. Well, to the artists at least. For the listeners, it’s great! You can play and download your favorite songs for free. To the actual singers though, the word free might not sound like music to their ears. It’s understandable where they’re coming from. They worked hard making these records and what to be rightfully compensated for their songs. While streaming services offer music for free, it does claim to pay the artists fairly. Still, we live in a new-age where the way you can make money from your music is vastly different.

The Death of CDs

Some time ago, a musician would make money by simply selling a CD. For the young ones reading this, songs used to come on an actual disc. Like a physical one. Amazing, right? The more CDs a singer would sell, the more money they would make. When the internet came, things got a bit more complex. Now music could be downloaded for free illegally. Meaning, consumers could get access to the latest hits without necessarily having to pay any money to get them. It became a problem until streaming services were introduced.

The New Way

These streaming services were smart in its way to pay artists but still, keep it free for listeners everywhere. All along the missing link were the advertisers. It works this way – listeners would subscribe to a streaming service, advertisers would pay the streaming service to show ads to the listeners, and the service would pay the artists with the money from the advertisers. You follow? That way everyone wins. Some streaming services even have ways to increase an artist’s popularity. Services like offer SoundCloud account owners the opportunity to add more engagement to their page.

Death of the iPod

No wonder the iPod was phased out with the coming of the streaming services. No consumer was willing to pay for the music anymore. People are so used to advertisers footing the bill that it might stay like this for a while. Fewer and fewer people are looking to old services like iTunes to get the music. It was an authoritarian system where there was only one way to get songs. Now with Spotify and SoundCloud, getting music just became a lot more democratic.

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Vilma M. Gordon

Vilma M. Gordon