Apparently we’re all* streaming music now


* well more of us actually, but I thought this was a snappier title.

According to this article I’ve just seen on the Guardian’s website the number of teenagers engaged in illegal downloads has “plummeted”. This has been attributed, in part, to the rise in popularity of sites like Spotify and We7. The article also mentions the ease of copying music off friends mp3 devices but I think the important part here is that teens are saying that they’re getting more of their music from the streaming sites.

Now this, to my mind, reinforces what I was trying to say in my previous post on this subject. Basically, that if the music industry wants to minimise illegal downloads then they need to make it a lot easier and cheaper for people to download music legally.

The streaming sites aren’t actually providing free downloads, but the combination faster mobile internet access and no-cost* streaming is effectively the same thing. The added bonus of using streaming sites is that you’ve got what amounts to unlimited storage on your music player.

It’s also a lot easier than either ripping your own CDs, copying your mates mp3 or illegally downloading the music yourself. You don’t have to sync your device to your hard-drive anymore and there’s no danger of you not having that one track or album you really want to listen to.

This can only be good news all round. The public is getting what it wants – instant access to music on mobile devices (phones, iPods etc.), the music publishers are getting revenue and the artists are getting exposure and revenue. In fact as Steve Purdham, CEO and founder of We7 says in the Guardian article:

They [the consumer] may not buy an album, though they have that opportunity, but you can sell them tour tickets and a T-shirt of their favourite band.

The only thing I feel I need to point out is that it’s the music industry didn’t set these sites up themselves. It was someone having a bright idea and getting it going by themselves.

* “no-cost” at the point of use that is. There is still a cost either on the mobile contract or the ISP bill, but this isn’t apparent when actually listening to the music.

© 2009, Chris. All rights reserved. If you republish this post can you please link back to the original post.

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