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Is Digital Streaming Damaging the Music Industry?

Written by James Cheetham on 1st May 2015


While the big discussion of recent years has been that of On-Demand services such as Netflix tackling the Home Entertainment market, the digital streaming of music and its effects on the music industry are now overtaking the blogs and twitter feeds of the net.

Spotify has been the big name when discussing the digital streaming of music, and it has been highlighted many times by aspiring (and already aspired) musicians, that the current revenue sharing system is not in the artists favour.

Portishead’s Geoff Barrow recently caused a twitter furor when he tweeted the (approximate) little amount he’d made off of 34,000,000 streams of Portishead's music, placing the blame on Spotify, Apple and YouTube. (He says £1700.)

Enter Jay Z and his TIDAL music streaming service (originally built by Scandinavian company Aspiro) which is allegedly here to save artists and claim their money back.

However, the current approach TIDAL have taken to ruling the music streaming industry haven’t been too successful, at least taking the backlash on the internet into account.

Complaints about Jay-Z’s launch event say it came across as a stage filled with millionaire mainstream chart toppers moaning about not making enough money.

Surely he should have filled the event with new artists and broached the fact that new artists will benefit from us forking out a little extra for TIDAL, which in the UK is more expensive than the premium Spotify subscription. (TIDAL is twice as much coming in at £19.99 in the UK.)

There was also the announcement that TIDAL’s CEO has left after two weeks of the re-launch and rumours that there are redundancies, although they have said this is not accurate by releasing a statement to Business Insider: “We’re streamlining the company and refocusing our resources to ensure the platform continues to grow, and listeners can make a connection to their favorite artists. No one else is doing this.” Sounds like redundancies to us…

Further news released this week has seen the TIDAL app drop from being in the Top 20 app chart to being outside of the Top as things look, Spotify will stay on top.

But with complaints about the payment of royalties hitting Spotify across the board, we're starting to see a call to arms to rectify the situation as Digital starts to overtake consumers listening and purchasing habits.

What do you think? Are we jumping on the TIDAL bashing bandwagon and ignoring its real benefits? Or will you be keeping your Spotify account for those Friday office playlists?

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