When streaming started to take off more than a decade ago, skeptics said it would never work. After more than a century of buying records, tapes, and CDs, who wanted to just “rent” music? The moment you stopped paying your monthly subscription, then your music collection would disappear. Crazy.
But that’s not what happened.
Instead, the entire record music industry depends on streaming today. Record labels now see 60, 70, even 80% of their revenue come from streaming and not the sales of physical product. Meanwhile, music fans now have access to pretty much the entirety of all the music recorded by humankind. At last count, we can access somewhere around 95 million tracks. Compare that to the old days when even the biggest record store stocked maybe 100,000 albums.
Access has trumped ownership.
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