The Rise of Streaming and What It Means for Radio

This is from out of the UK and is based on a conversation I had with the site’s founder, Chris Cooke, at M for Montreal back in November.

As someone who has written about, talked about and championed new music for decades, and who has closely monitored developments in the digital music space over the last fifteen years, Canadian broadcaster Alan Cross could input into our overview of digital trends in multiple ways. But I was most interested in what he thought about the clash that is occurring between the rapidly rising streaming services and his own industry, that of radio. –

Because for all the debates that have taken place over whether subscription services are cannibalising download sales, there is also the issue of streaming platforms stealing listeners from radio stations, potentially depriving the music industry of both the royalties it earns from the broadcasters and a key platform that has traditionally been used by the labels to launch new artists and songs.

Unsurprisingly, Cross has been monitoring this trend very closely as well. “Because in radio we work very closely with the music industry, and consider artists and record companies as our partners in many ways, we were obviously concerned when we started to see the rapid rise of online piracy fifteen years ago, and about the impact that was having on the labels. But we were removed from those developments in a way, because we didn’t initially see the internet as a threat to our business model”.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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