Are You into Streaming or Are You Still Downloading?

Digital Music News reports on a survey of 1,113 American consumers on their thoughts about streaming. The headline is that 46% of those in the study say that they’re “not that into streaming.” Given that it’s still early, my headline would have been the opposite: “More than Half of US Consumers Like Streaming.”

Here are the results obtained from the question “Agree or disagree: I’m more likely to download content than to stream content.”


Here’s a bit of the report:

Sounds like a simple transition, but numerous research reports continue to point to deeply-entrenched download and piracy levels, even increasing levels.  Limelight, whose study is focused on downloading overall, found that music remains incredibly popular on piracy channels.

Depending on how you look at the data, this is a greater problem for Hollywood and the television industry, with the most active media consumers more likely to be pulling movies and shows than songs.  According to Limelight, 16.88 percent of Americans are downloading video content on a daily basis, with 14.46% reporting the same on music.

You can read the entire story here. On a related note, it’s said that 90 million people are paying for music streams.

I thought this would be a good time to conduct a Facebook survey using the same question.

pie-chart (13)

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.

3 thoughts on “Are You into Streaming or Are You Still Downloading?

  • April 11, 2016 at 8:41 am

    That’s a bit of a blunt-edged poll. Did it not occur to you that “downloading” is sometimes offered legally, especially for music?

    “Content” is a very broad term. I stream movies and TV shows now more than download, mostly because the content’s better. I know the prevailing wisdom is that you can download anything, but if your tastes run to historical documentaries and Jane Austen, not so much. I never have any trouble finding the latest comic book movie (I like those too — mostly it seems I like costumes!), but the “chick flicks” are harder to come by. So streaming rewards legal behaviour by providing the range of content I want.

    Music, however, is something else again. I usually buy music and download it (legally). Streaming… I just don’t trust the content to be available for as long as I want to listen to it.

  • April 11, 2016 at 10:20 am

    The main reason for downloading… cost. And by cost I mean not the cost of the service, the cost of bandwidth. Cell and internet access is so expensive in Canada that its just not possible, at least for me.

  • April 12, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    To me, streaming is only useful for discovery. Mobile data is expensive and entire artists disappear over licensing disputes. I buy legal FLACs, which are easier to come by than you’d think. I seem to be one of few people that does this, because I can point to entire Bandcamp pages where I’m the only supporter. Then I load them onto an old iPod Video that’s modified to have a massive hard drive and third-party firmware. It may not be the future, but nothing else compares. It’s sad that I had to jump through this many hoops just for portable, high quality music, but until technology improves, I’m sticking with iPods. Apple may not produce them, but you can find them refurbished and tweaked to your liking if you Google around.


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