SoundCloud, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Amazon Prime Music, Tidal and the newest member making headlines is Apple Music. Regardless of how many new articles and pissed off artist go on tangents about the decrease of music sales and the increase in music piracy, there continues to be another company taking their chances at conquering the subscription-based music streaming market and most often failing. Why is that?
First, it’s hard to compete with free. The main demographics of the top-selling artists consist of youngsters, young adults and adult adults who know what a torrent is and how to find one with their fave’s album with the bonus tracks. Claiming that Beyoncé is out here struggling is a hard way to get customers to sympathize and spend $9.99 or $19.99 a month to see the Tidal “exclusive” music video for “Feeling Myself” that can currently be found on Vimeo for free.
Then, you have the restrictive nature. The U.S. Copyright Royalty Board does a lot to make sure that artists are protected. That includes the exclusion of “one-demand” listening and a maximum of four songs by a particular artist during a three-hour listening session for companies like Pandora. Buying or pirating the song gives listeners all the replays their hearts desire.
These companies also need to make money so there needs to be commercials that happen every third song and infringe on the music-listening experience. Customer either have the option of dealing with commercials or paying to have them removed. Even television doesn’t get that options so there’s that.
However, it isn’t all bad. SoundCloud, the most popular of subscription-based music streaming, has tackled the problem and continues to succeed with its ease of use and collaborative environment that works with listeners and musicians. SoundCloud is not just for big artists but also up-and-comers. It’s become a tool for every rising artists with links to SoundClouds found all over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and gives listeners to more wiggle room. SoundCloud is less them against us and more we. Subscription-based music streaming services are continuously going to come about but they don’t all have to be crap.