Streams will become the new mp3’s for 4 simple reasons.
Reason #1: The only reason to really download music anymore is to put it on a mobile mp3 player like an iPod or a Zune.
Reason #2: Streaming Recommendation sites like Grooveshark, last.fm and Pandora have become extremely popular, and these sites have begun making apps for a range of mobile smart phones and mobile computers, which can easily take the place of simple mp3 players.
Reason #3: Streaming eliminates the need to store all that data on a phone or computer, which leaves room for more cool apps, and you don’t have to worry about back ups, or losing it all!
Reason #4: No fear of lawsuits, and actually a way for artists to get paid via advertising revenues. The streaming method happens to be trackable thanks to it’s marriage with the internet. This can provide artists with better information about how and when their music is shared or played, and could allow artists to get paid ANYTIME their music is played, if the switch is made from downloads to streams.
From an artist’s perspective it’s the perfect solution, and from a fan’s perspective it’s the perfect solution too, because if the artist gets paid from ads while streaming, then the music should be free for the fans!
Problems Holding Streaming Back:
1. The lack of proliferation of web-connected mobile devices. Once the price of these things comes down a little, and they figure out better ways to hook them up to your car stereo, streaming will easily be a top choice.
2. The ads associated with the streaming sites are often annoying and obtrusive, with audio interruptions and flashy oversized banners. The solution here is a switch to small, unobtrusive logo icons that just sit there quietly in the corner of the player, but are very appreciated for allowing the fans to get the music for free.
It will be interesting to see what new innovations in this field emerge in the next couple years. My prediction: Streams will be the big adoption of this decade, due to accessibility, sharability, and simple practicality.
Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC