Music streaming platforms have been offering a plethora of songs in myriad languages from global artists. The applications powered by cloud technology allows different users to play the same song at the same time over and over again without interruption. The only condition is that you must have a stable internet connection and a device to play it.
Technically, the content is streamed through a server over the internet request. The song is embedded in the server from where it is accessed multiple times. These files are raw and take a large amount of digital space. They are compressed to be transported digitally over the internet. When the requested encrypted and compressed file is received by the application of the consumer’s devices, it is decrypted into its original form.
It is argued that the process of encrypting the original file and sending them over for decryption and listening makes the sound quality of the song very low. The quality of the sound is better in physical formats like CDs, Vinyl records, and digital downloads.
This is not entirely baseless. For instance, Spotify’s streaming quality is 160 kbps. A regular MP3 file takes around 320 kbps to give satisfiable sound quality. It is equivalent to Spotify’s HD streaming. If we compare these with CDs on which the file takes good 1411 kbps, its quality will surely become less.
The streaming of music is conventional and easy while it is not possible to access music on traditional devices at all times. The success of streaming platforms has proved that listeners have chosen quality of music over choice and convenience.
People can request as many songs as they like instantaneously. It is easy to find the songs too. It has taken music to all parts of the world and has made it accessible to all. The number of songs streamed in 2019 crossed a trillion mark for the first time. The music industry has been reorganising itself as streaming music generated 80% of the revenue from the recorded music.
Impact of streaming on music artist
Streaming has introduced a new way of income for artists. Whenever their song is listed and being requested, they are paid a royalty. Streaming saves them from illegal and plagiarised downloads. Plagiarised content has been burning a hole in artists pockets for a long time along with producers, lyricists, music composers and music labels. Streaming acknowledges their contribution and pays them their dues.
People have also steered clear from using illegal and plagiarised sites because they become susceptible to downloading viruses and malware into their devices and risk their privacy. Now concerts are live-streamed. A major paradigm shift on how music is consumed now was seen in the pandemic when everyone was forced to live in the confines of their homes. Artists came together and performed live on various streaming platforms to make it bearable.