Streaming Services Gaining in the US. So Why Not Canada?

Audio4cast issued this blog post today:

According to a recently released annual study of music sales by IFPI, the number of people paying to use subscription services grew 44 per cent in 2012 to 20 million globally. Subscription revenues are expected to account for more than 10 per cent of digital revenues for the first time in 2012. (again, that’s a global report). Subscription services are credited with replacing illegal download activity, and also with replacing music download sales.

With several services in the US hitting the million subscriber mark and subscription based revenues projected to make up 10% of digital revenues for the music industry, it’s certainly become a viable business model for streaming.

So where is Canada in the streaming revolution?  I’m not sure.  No, we don’t have access to Pandora or Spotify but we do have Rdio, Slacker, Mediazoic, Deezer and a bunch of others.  But details on consumer adoption are hard to come by.

Every week, Soundscan reports on which songs are being streamed the most.  No such report exists for Canada.  Is it because the numbers are still tiny?

What’s holding up the adoption of streaming music services in this country?  Is it a consumer thing? Or is it because we don’t have access to the media darling companies like Pandora and Spotify?

And what’s holding things up for those two services?  Quibbles over money, obviously.  I moderated a legal panel a few weeks ago and the point was made that when it comes to streaming, there’s nothing in it for the artists are far as a revenue stream goes.  Until we can get past that issue, we’re locked in limbo.

Streaming is going to be the way we do things in the very near future.  And remember that the Internet views any attempt at blockage as damage and will always find a way to work around it.

Just askin’.  That’s all.

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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