Musical enjoyment – Between the analogue niche and digital mainstream

2019 was the first year in which more than half of all music revenues were generated via streaming services. According to figures from the German Music Industry Association, more than every second euro was generated by streaming services such as Spotify, Amazon Music and Co. Since the mid-2000s, streaming services have been shooting up and changing the music industry ever since.

Musical enjoyment – Between the analogue niche and digital mainstream

Our way of listening to music has changed. Internet radio, the oldest form of music streaming, emerged as early as the late 1990s and took advantage of the Internet and Internet transmission possibilities for the classic radio format. Around 2003, Myspace was created as a publishing platform that allowed musicians to offer not only personal information but also music files that could be listened to as a stream. Many musicians became popular in the Myspace community and record labels subsequently signed the most promising talents. With the increasing transmission speed of the Internet, the technical possibilities also expanded and made retrieving music on the Internet more and more attractive, thus influencing the music market enormously. Music streaming quickly established itself as a new distribution channel for record companies.  In 2011, streaming, including advertising-financed offers, accounted for 11.5 percent of music sales; by 2013, this figure had risen to 20 percent. Today, the best-known music streaming services are Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon Music, Tidal and YouTube Music and generate over 50% of sales revenue. And the trend is rising!

Boundless music always and everywhere

Today we get the song we like at that moment, exactly at that moment. We simply stream or download everything our heart desires. Similar to the once popular mixtapes on cassette tapes, online playlists are now a good help to find our way around the oversupply of streaming services and to define our personal taste in music. For every mood, every occasion we can put together our music and listen to it as often as we like. But not only our way of listening to music has changed due to streaming services. By means of algorithms we get our individually tailored music recommendation without having to deal with it or even noticing it. This way, you can quickly discover new artists and songs, but the personal music taste of the radio presenters is missing and you quickly get stuck in a genre. Not to mention the feeling of rummaging through a flood of vinyl in the record shop, listening in briefly and buying a record with which you make a new musical discovery.

Vinyl never dies

What will happen to the record stores? The haptic leafing through the booklet and the decorative character of physical records fortunately continues to enjoy popularity. In 2019 the trend towards vinyl had grown so much that it generated almost more sales than CDs. According to a forecast by the Society for Consumer Research, the analogue niche will not die out completely by 2022 and will still generate 18% sales. Music lovers will continue to buy their records in stores.

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