Music streaming for 2019 president, or no?
Music is an integral part of people’s lives for a very long time ago. Music is found on every known culture, past, and present, each made up of different instruments, different tempo, different singing style, different “feelings” Until it becomes “music genre” being used all over the nation.
There has been a transformation of time to time about the music industry. First, the phonograph was invented. Record stores came in after with CD cassette and vinyl until compact discs are being introduced. After the 2000s, the internet is gaining popularity, music is moving into digital style, as known as the digital era of music, internet radio and eventually developed to music streaming as what we are at now.
The music industry has been in a crisis for a long time, its value is grading down. For example, people are downloading illegal music and CD player is decreasing in numbers. It occurs by the changed behavior of the consumers.
So, what are music streaming?
Music streaming allows you to listen to any song, at any place, at any time only if you have a connection and be its subscribers. In Thailand 3 of the most commonly used music streaming platforms are Apple Music, Spotify, and JOOX (not in particular order)
Apple Music allows you 3 months free subscription with full option, but you have to pay monthly after the trials end. Spotify and Joox are soft paywall platform. You do not have a full option in the app on free mode.
All 3 platforms have unlimited songs to stream, but with different genre and artist. Apple Music and Spotify have more international songs while Joox mainly targeted on Thai songs.
Doesn’t seem to be much different, does it?
People of new generations are paying more attention to use music legally to support their favorite artist. Moreover, the music streaming platform is only a fingertip away, while payment online is easy-lemon as well. This causes a physical copy of the music to decrease its market. Digital download is decreasing. Music streaming is more convenient as it is in your smartphone or your laptop.
In 2017, the music industry delivered the USA on 2.72 million baht, which grows 16% from the previous year.
65% was from music streaming, increased by 43% from the previous year.
15% was from Digital download, decreased by 25% from the previous year.
17% was from CD, decreased by 4% from the previous year.
This concluded that music streaming business is growing rapidly and can control their market throughout, compares to its income from 10 years before, streaming only have 2.5% of all music industry.
Conversely, CD and digital downloads are increasing rapidly as well
Because streaming hands you easier path to choose to listen to music with much convenience way. People chose to pay monthly for streaming service at a similar price as CDs but with unlimited songs.
Each music streaming platform has a different point of sale. For example, Apple Music combines its unlimited songs and Itunes, they also have most songs in all other platforms as well. Spotify has AI, which generates 6 playlists based on your favorite genre and makes you “Discover Weekly” playlist which generates your new songs in your orbit. JOOX has the fastest update on Thai songs, contains most of Thai song in their library, and also include lyrics into most of the songs (Spotify still has less in numbers)
What their effect on music media are?
2017 was a big year for the streaming music industry, noticed from statistics above. It came out as no surprise that streaming powered the vast, the majority of that expansion was vertically increasing. Especially from physical copies’ popularity are decreasing because of a higher price than music streaming. For example, the average price per CD is 400 baht with a maximum of 15 songs. Meanwhile, music streaming subscription per month is 130 baht average with unlimited access to any song that is available on the platform. Furthermore big movies like Hollywood first make money for studios in the theaters, then for movie sales (whether it’s on disc or download), and next in the video rental circuit. By the time they’re ready to stream, they typically anchor a collection of other movies.
For example, when Vampire Twilight series is available on Netflix, hard copies as know as DVD collection of the series in movie rental store will decrease in number and be no longer available. This will eventually will be a big movement for CD player enterprise. People use CDs less, and a CD player will have to stop developing. CD player developer will stop progress, as well as the new version of computer/laptop, will no longer have a CD reading function.
Digital download is decreasing its number in investment as well. As Google is banning illegal website such as illegal movie stream site, as well as an illegal music download site. For common thing in human being, we prefer more convenient thing. Even if you can handle 5 pop-ups ads when you enter one of the illegal sites, and medium quality (480p for example) media, one day you will eventually get tired of them. Most of the people turn to use music streaming more in the past 2 years after an illegal download is not their option anymore.
What their effect on society is?
Certainly, the music industry is changing all the time. In contrast, our generation gap (only in Thailand) has affected a bit.
To demonstrate, JOOX, the highest users count of music streaming platform in Thailand, made statistics of the users’ age range as
As you can see, the highest user age range is at 25-34 years old while elders have only 6% of all users. It might be related to the lifestyle that people from the newer generation are considered about consuming music legally more than illegally. The license and the rights of the artist are much more considered in the newer generation. 1 stream of a song can be sent a little amount of money to the artist directly. Not all of the children are using music streaming because this requires a monthly paid subscription, which is somewhat expensive for a child. This is why we see working class people are using music streaming platform more.
Obviously, the new technology is still something new for the elders in order to learn how to use music streaming. The majority prefers to listen to music on a cassette, CD, Vinyl or radio. And the minority is interested in this topic.
Moreover, some of them watch videos from YouTube where they can listen to any music as well, with no money to be paid!
But there’s been (no) bed of roses.
Music streaming is also facing problems in the future as well. What is the next move of the music streaming industry? Is it only it? Every music is now available anywhere in any platform? Not so fast.
As it has been mentioned, each music streaming platform has a different point of sale. JOOX has more Thai songs, while Spotify has less. Spotify developer in Thailand now has to be aware of dropping rating counts because Thai people prefer Thai songs more.
AI in Spotify is what it gains popularity from. They collected the data; what we like to listen to, and let us discover new music continuously. Any other music streaming platform now has to consider adopting AI into their application.
Moving to the topic of technology. Nowadays, music streaming platform is available elsewhere. For example, smartphone, laptop, computer, smart TV, or even cars. Is there any more move left for the music streaming industry?
Voice recognition is coming to the trend as the new machine which activates itself by voice recognition. We can see it on our smartphone. Try saying “Hi Siri” on your Apple, that is voice device in your phone. Now we have developed to a machine specifically for voice recognition, voice device. For example, Amazon Echo or Google Home. The 84% of Amazon Echo users and 70% of Google Home users command their device to play music. As Spotify is developing their own voice device for Spotify only, and not with their competitors Apple, Amazon and Google.
We’re not there yet, but it’s coming close.
Another possibility of the music industry at the next level with music streaming is the crucial core. From now on new artists have an easier path to spread their piece of music and be recognized more as well with the availability of streaming. It’s almost like 2 ways of communication now. The audience has unlimited access to music, as well as new artist that can make new music through music making application and share it on any music streaming platform. This is a new place for young faces artist to shine with their piece of music they wrote.
For the conclusion,
Although music streaming is gaining more recognition as years goes by. Music streaming changes the music industry, but it is not comprehensive to everyone
Don’t forget the real root of the music industry, they all begin with tape cassette, vinyl, CD, digital download and eventually the music streaming service. There are people who were born between those generations, but not for everyone to impress about what the future holding before us.
However, every coin has two sides.
Some prefer it fast.
The other prefers it slow.