After Napster’s old days and the first-ever downloadable songs, the music streaming business has come a long way. The new internet infrastructure, coupled with faster download rates, made it possible to share music. Since those early days, legislation and structure have provided businesses with the means to monetize digital content while protecting it. Putting new technology into action.
A couple of major networks burst into the market as the industry developed. Many early growth leaders got tremendous boosts when customers started to throw out their CDs and flock to media services. The early days, however, have come to a grinding halt. The software isn’t new anymore. The market has started to change rather than massive new consumer purchases, and the proof is readily apparent.
One need only look at last year’s activities to see there is an exponential increase in competition in the industry. Spotify, the industry leader is just an example of how innovation has driven companies to pursue new customers with vengeance.
Spurred on by services such as Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Google Play. The company started the year by offering free access to its Hulu video platform for subscribers. Previously a secondary source of income, Spotify hoped by providing a “two for one” deal to gain new customers.
Just last week, another announcement from Spotify demonstrated the rising urgency. The newest promotion for all paid users is a free Google Home Mini. These ever-increasing advantages reflect what many have already deduced on Wall Street. The music streaming industry is becoming more profitable by the day.
Old technology, new technology
Furthermore, the very thing that made music streaming so innovative may be part of the cause in the first place. The internet has revolutionized the world of music but it’s also a tough taskmaster. New innovations seem to make the competition even harder. An important example is the newest cryptocurrency in the tech world that is used with distributed ledger technology.
It has been used in peer-to-peer platforms that enable musicians to directly sell music to listeners. Unlike Airbnb for living spaces, DLT allows users to directly connect to their favorite musicians and to buy or download their music without interference from third parties. Recent statistics indicate that for older streaming services, artists accounted for only 12% of total revenue. The new system replaces the hierarchical corporations that benefit from makers.
To challenge the status quo
With the opportunity to circumvent much of the profit-taking, artists and listeners alike are starting to concentrate on how DLT could transform the industry. Tune.fm for instance, is a music streaming service.That uses a JAM token cryptocurrency operated by the Hedera Hashgraph DLT network. JAM allows musicians to earn micropayments automatically for every second of streaming music.
Using blockchain, artists using legacy systems may collect their payments within minutes much quicker than months or even years. And, surprisingly, also for listeners, this system is much better. With no subscription fees and no add-ons or deals, listeners have much better access at a lower price to the music they enjoy.
Something like that?
Although many would say that in complex markets such as music there is no such thing as a win-win, technological advances are always making inroads into different industries. The music streaming industry may change forever with cryptocurrency. Just as Napster has revolutionized the music world, bitcoin can become a great market-mover of future choices of listening. The future may be here with lower prices, better access, and more satisfied musicians.
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