[This was my weekend column for GlobalNews.ca. If you missed part one, go here. – AC]
Streaming is the future of music distribution. The ability to access more than 50 million songs with just a few pokes at your phone for free (or something close to it) is not only convenient but intoxicating. It’s the once-hypothetical Infinite Jukebox come to life.
Record labels certainly love it. All three of the majors now see more revenue come through streaming than any other source. Truth be told, they’d be happy to see all physical product go away thereby eliminating the need for manufacturing, warehousing, transportation, and dealing with record stores that keep going out of business.
Thanks to streaming technology, the demand for music has never been greater nor has music consumption ever been this high. But there are some downsides to this revolution which emphasizes access to music over possession, a shift that may not bode well for the future of music.