THE DIFFERENCES IN MUSIC STREAMING AND MUSIC SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES

Streaming and paid subscriptions are what are considered the lifeblood of the music industry right now, and for years many predicted that it would be the sole salvation of the business. While there are other ways to get music, there’s no doubt that streaming, especially through Spotify, is very important.

A lot of people think that there’s only one kind of music subscription service, but this is not the case. As Music Business Worldwide explains in a new report, there are four subscription models that people should know about in 2019.

Different Styles of Streaming

This article lists four models, and also included an illustration with a pyramid to show where everything is in the pecking order. At the top of the list is what’s known as artist-centric streaming, followed by label and curator-centric, then genre and geography-centric, and finally mass-market and utility-centric. The further up the pyramid you go, the “artist loyalty increases,” yet as you get to the base of the pyramid, the “potential audience increases.”

This story also used another interesting term: “Genre and geography-centric subscriptions.” This is fairly self-explanatory, and there are some streaming services that are for jazz music, heavy metal, classical, and more.

As you would expect, classical and jazz haven’t done as well as hip-hop, but those genres have always had specific niche audiences anyways.

As far as geography-centric services, there are indeed streaming services all over the world. As this report explains, “many are owned by telcos and other large companies whose adjacent revenue streams help drive music sales.”

Artist and Label-Centric Streaming

Artist and label-centric streaming are at the top of this pyramid, and it means that fans can subscribe to their favorite artist or label to stream music. With these kinds of subscriptions, there isn’t an unlimited number of songs, and artist-centric streaming services have often produced “mixed results.”

Music That Cottoned to Streaming Best (So Far)

A report in the Chicago Tribune took a look at what are the most popular genres in streaming. This report says that the current age of streaming is “changing how we listen to music, but they’re also changed what we listen to. Thanks to streaming, sad rap is king, ‘80s-style Stranger Things playlists are everywhere, Ed Sheeran is the biggest pop star in the world…”

The big genres in streaming are, no big surprise, hip-hop, Latin pop, and heavy metal (which has grown in streaming since getting the cold shoulder from terrestrial radio). The genres that still haven’t crossed over to streaming yet are mainstream rock, which is still huge on terrestrial radio, country, and regular pop music.

This report also states that there are a lot of listeners out there that haven’t gone from physical streaming to on-demand streaming yet, and streaming that incorporates voice recognition from listeners is predicted to be the next step with listeners and fans.

Could streaming become big with fans of country and classic rock? Time will tell for sure, and more genres could end up becoming popular through streaming down the road as well.

 

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