Music Streaming and the words of relevance

By no measure I am one of the fewer ones to comment on this subject. I have search alerts created for ‘music streaming’ and for most of the existing and upcoming services like ‘Spotify’, ‘Beats’, ‘Rdio’ and ‘Saavn’ too. So I write ahead with an awareness that there are innumerable voices and more such opinions. These are from experts, enthusiasts, analysts and regular bloggers.

It is heartening to know that there are ways emerging for the industry to realize its revenue potential gradually. It is also delightful to know that artists’ rights are increasingly being talked about and respected. What is amusing (or baffling sometimes!) is the misplaced perspectives in multiple such discourses.

What we need to agree on is — Streaming is what will remain! Following are two simple and strong arguments for it (with a permissible level of exaggeration),

We don’t even make CD players anymore!
Digital buying of music is not the most convenient plus it could again further piracy. I buy it and share it because I like my friends and I like to show off the new music I buy.

As consumers, we still hope for the experience of music to continuously improve. We also want easy access and want to engage more. At the same time (trust me!) we really really want artists to get the right financial value and deserved respect!

A word cloud of more than 80 articles published in last 8 months gives a qualitative indication of what have been the words of relevance(simply because they have been talked about the most).

A word Cloud with 100 words

In a word cloud of just 100 words chosen from more than 80 articles from different sources (Tech Crunch, The Verge, The Next Web, Washington Post, NYT, Music Blogs, Forbes, Interviews, and many more) it seems like every time music streaming has been spoken about Spotify has been spoken about too.

Following are the word clouds with 300 and 500 words respectively.

Word Cloud with 300 words
Word Cloud with 500 words

Some easily seen observations from these word clouds could be as follows,

  1. Music, as it should be, is primary and is at the heart of all of it (industry could really remind itself of that)
  2. Spotify currently is almost synonymous with music streaming! Which makes it the strongest brand too.
  3. Taylor did lead the entourage against free music streaming (especially Spotify, though one can’t definitely say if it hurt the brand!)
  4. Apple and Google are being talked about prominently in this context. Their size and potential influence can’t be ignored.
  5. Almost similar occurrences of freemium, paid, subscription, millions, billions, USD, free etc seem to suggest that both the models (ad supported freemium and paid) can co-exist.

Though most of the reporting and coverage has been of the US music industry (followed by Europe e.g. Sweden, UK). It won’t be completely wrong to guess that the industry is likely to behave similarly globally. In fact in countries like India streaming services could be stronger given the non-existent record sales and rampant piracy with a large consumer base with increased disposable income.

Music as it is, is a subject of great emotions. Added to that the business aspect, it becomes further exciting.

We shall all keep an eye on it.

All for the art and the artists!

Thanks for reading. ☺

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