Streaming music subscriptions have become very popular, more so with the Internet. Many individuals subscribe to streaming music services as it is a good source of income that can supplement their other incomes. The subscription models vary greatly from place to place and what works for one person may not work for another. Subscription revenues are determined by the music’s revenue potential. There are many people who subscribe to music services who are not actually earning any money from it but only paying for it. Such individuals are often unaware that they could have subscribed to music services that generate revenues in a much better manner.
How Can Music Subscriptions Be Arranged?
Music subscriptions can either be ad supported or free of ad supported content. Ad supported subscriptions include monthly fees for lyrics and audio while free subscriptions offer the subscriber to download the song for free as well as to listen to it for free. Free music sites include Yahoo! Music and iTunes.
The benefits of music streaming services can either go in favour of the artists or against them. Ad-supported subscriptions allow artists to sell their songs to music libraries which give them the rights to sell the songs. This gives the artist a passive income for life as opposed to selling songs to mainstream record labels which may not guarantee a sale. On the flip side, if an artist does not get a recording deal from a record label he/she can choose to go into business on their own and sell their songs directly to subscribers. The downside to going this way is that there is no chance to gain major mainstream popularity like with major bands. So the artists who make a name for themselves through self-releases and direct sales are the ones who ultimately benefit from music streaming services.
By the year 2021 the recorded music industry is expected to have an estimated turnover of more than USD 28 billion. Music subscription revenues will contribute a huge part of this figure. The revenues will mostly come from music streaming subscriptions rather than recording deals or live concerts. By the year 2021 there is also expected to be a turning point in the music industry with the dominance of the iPods and other mp3 players. These devices are currently being used by listeners around the world and it is only a matter of time before they overtake traditional CD players and other media players.
The Changing Music Market
The shift to subscription revenues is a positive sign for the artists involved in the music industry. This will mean that there will be less pressure to make extreme marketing efforts and that the focus will shift to subscribers. However, some artists are opposed to this idea. This is because they feel that it eliminates the individual artist and that it is favouring the major labels and marketers who have historically made more from recorded music. However, these artists must also realise that this new model of distribution is advantageous to the customer and allows them to choose what they want to listen to.
These are some of the things to look out for in the coming years as the subscription model makes its way into the music scene. As subscription revenues increase, artists are likely to start to see revenues coming into their pockets. For the most part the focus at the moment is on h1 2021 when subscription revenues will account for a bigger percentage of the market compared to recordings and live events. In the first half of the next decade, however, the focus will turn to pay per play events that will increasingly be controlled by the major labels.