From the gramophone to radio, and the cassette tape to streaming, the way we listen to music has evolved at a rapid rate. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment that music streaming was born, but back in 2005 it was apps like Pandora that launched the service into the stratosphere.
Pandora’s music recommendation function was pioneering, and paved the way for streaming services we use today, like Spotify.
Since its launch in 2008, Spotify has become one of the most popular music streaming apps. So it’s no surprise that Spotify’s net cost trebled between 2013 and 2014. However the company’s 15m paying subscribers aren’t enough to slow down the losses being made. As Spotify’s revenue increases so does its operating costs, highlighting the current struggle to make streaming music profitable.
Unlike their music streaming rivals Apple, Spotify continue to provide their free on demand service despite pressure to end it.
TIDAL, the new streaming music service from Jay Z and his fellow musicians, isn’t quite the hit they thought it would be. In fact it’s proving to be a huge disappointment. Executives at the company have been fired and the app’s ranking has plummeted from the top 20 in the US App Store to below 700.
CEO Jay Z recently took to Twitter to defend the company’s position.”TIDAL is doing just fine. We have over 770,000 [subscriptions]. We have been in business less than one month.”
Spotify have now launched a video steaming service. Although this will add yet more costs onto the company’s business model, it could bring in a much-needed stream of revenue through advertising.
Like any new tech start-up, time is a crucial element. With Jay Z on the defensive the company is gaining more exposure, but in the end it will take time for the app to become established and trusted. With such huge rivals to compete against, TIDAL may have finished before it’s even had time to start.
For the first time since its launch, Warner Music’s streaming revenue is surpassing its subscription sales.
As Warner CEO Stephen Cooper stated, “The rate of this growth has made it abundantly clear that in years to come, streaming will be the way that most people enjoy music.”
Apple’s new Beats-based music streaming service is yet to be launched but it’s already causing a storm in the industry.
Rumoured to be released as part of the iOS 8.4 upgrade for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, the app could include personalised playlists, cloud-based music storage and the ability to customise specific elements.
It’s suggested that the app will be priced at $7.99 per month, undercutting all of its major competitors. However, Apple’s download sales are reportedly on the decrease, so this may be a case of too little, too late for the tech company.
SFX Entertainment have launched their own music streaming service that stands out against its competition for two main reasons. With no subscription needed, the service is free and even better for the user, it’s also advert free.
Whilst we hope Beatport succeeds, without advertisers the app may struggle to find its revenue stream.
To summarise, streaming music is now the primary way that people listen to their favourite songs, so music streaming companies and their apps must evolve to survive in the ever-changing and extremely competitive market.
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