In 2017 it is finally clear that streaming is here as the new medium in which music is being consumed. Streaming is not just the future of the music industry, streaming is the now. This means both positives and negatives for the artists and labels that use streaming as a way to get music to consumers.
While labels have cut back end deals with companies like Spotify and Apple to give artist less than what they think is their fair share, streaming is still big business for artists and producers – not just the labels. Artists who are lucky enough to have records take off on the streaming platforms are seeing their fare share of income. The royalties from hundreds of millions of streams adds up, not to mention the promotion that comes along with being on the charts and top playlists of the streaming platforms.
The popularity of streaming has also caused a paradigm shift in the RIAA certification of records, with old songs from artists catalogue being available to their new fans to rack up streams. For example, Hip Hop veteran Tech N9ne just received his first Platinum Certification from the RIAA for one of his old singles thanks to new streaming numbers being added to his old sales.
While veteran artists benefit from their old catalogue, new artists are also reaping the benefits of the new streaming landscape. Newcomers are finding it much easier to break into the scene by landing on poplar playlist from Spotify, Apple, etc. Some of these playlists have millions of followers and can literally take a song from no plays to a hit record if it ends up on the right playlist.
Like any fundamental shift of an industry, there is an upside and downside to streaming whether you are the labels or the artists but the group of people who are always winning are the fans. We get to enjoy virtually unlimited free music at any time and place – guilt free.