In a report  released in mid-March by the Recording Industry Association of America, revenue from streaming services such as Spotify, Rdio, and Pandora surpassed that of CD sales for the very first time in history in 2014. The report also shows that streaming is quickly closing in on sales of digital downloads as well. The total revenue from streaming has risen significantly since 2009.

Digital downloads are still leading the way, but the gap is becoming smaller between digital purchases and streaming as time goes on. For something you can’t actually keep, streaming has lured in billions of users. I personally prefer something I can keep, something more tangible that I’ll always have, but the numbers show that most of the public would disagree with me.

I knew that CD sales were down back in December when I had asked a store clerk about the new vinyl section in a store. He told me that vinyl was in high demand and the store had to send all of their compact disks back to the company as no one was purchasing them. That poses a question. Where does vinyl fit into all of this and what is to become of its future? There has been a resurgence in vinyl sales in the past few years, particularly among young people.

More vinyl means more business for independent record stores, and a higher demand for turntables. It seems that vinyl will never truly become obsolete, as collectors and other music fans have kept it relevant throughout the years. Though vinyl may not be as popular as other forms of music, it certainly has stood the test of time thus far, and looks like it will continue to do so. Record Store Day is right around the corner on April 18th, and vinyl lovers will have a chance to get some specially released music and support independent record stores worldwide.

While revenue is high for streaming services, the artists producing the music usually do not see the same profits from their streamed music. The success of streaming is more of a success for the streaming companies than anyone else. In an era when instant gratification is the norm, it is understandable that younger people turn to streaming services to get music and other entertainment. There is no need to purchase an entire album as people are often only checking out single songs, and streaming is an easy way to do that. With services like Spotify, which is currently the leader in subscriptions, consumers can stream any song they want at any given time. There is only a one time fee for users to stream as many songs as they’d like, making it worth their money.

While I’m not a big fan of streaming, it’s clear that the industry is moving towards the method for downloading music. Even Apple has gotten on board, as the company will supposedly be releasing a television streaming service later in 2015. For the company that created iTunes, still the leader in digital downloads, if Apple is heading toward streaming, whether it is music or video related, it must be the next big thing.

Article by: Ashley Rodriguez


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