Streaming is now too big to ignore. With the inclusion of songs in the UK charts (following the U.S. and Sweden), it has become a means of experiencing music which is growing rapidly in popularity.
There are however, deep concerns….
So far the estimated pay out from Spotify is around $2 billion from a customer base of around 50 million users. The pay out is so small that there is artist resistance to getting on board. The most high profile was probably Taylor Swift, who refused her music to be heard on the platform unless it was for paying subscribers only.If more artists refuse to let their music be played, it will result in a poor musical offering for customers.
Spotify is currently running at a loss, but is reported to looking for additional funding. Beats was saved by Apple in 2014 while Music Key is being supported by Google. With competition from the likes of Deezer,Elite,Tidal and Pono, making a profit remains a challenge. There is also the completion from other formats both Physical and Digital.
Services such as Deezer,Elite,Tidal and Pono are all talking/offering better sounding Digital music but at a price. This is a challenge in itself as the Spotify business model demonstrates- only 12.5 million are paying subscribers out of a 50 million customer base.
Technology and convenience will be constant challenges to the music industry….even bigger will be if musicians that are not well known, will be heard and paid reasonably for their music. Time will tell.