Music Streaming's Viability in The Music Industry : Creating Value in a Digital Age & an Oligopolistic Market
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Music: It has been a part of the human experience since the beginning of mankind. I don't see it going away anytime soon, but our roadmap to listen to it is quickly changing. Companies of the likes of Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, iTunes Radio, and just recently, Amazon Music are all changing how we access and listen to music—and by access (like most things in this world) I mean buy, as in money. At least, access should mean money, right? Wrong. These services don't initially require payment—at least, not yet—as long as you're willing to listen to an ad or two in between every few songs. Music streaming has stirred up many questions for the music industry and it has surely altered the industry structure. For consumers, streaming services seem great, and they are; however, the streaming model does not accommodate the industry as a whole. When streaming first hit the industry, it seemed it would save the music industry from piracy and the plummeting revenues of record labels globally. Today, about ten years since streaming service launched the Internet, there are questions surfacing about its business model's viability long term based on pricing, consumer behavior, royalties, and the music market. While streaming does a lot of good for the industry, there are many flaws that present themselves and seem to be undoubtedly growing, but rather debated whether it makes everyone involved in the business (consumers, labels, and artists) content. This paper synthesizes and analyzes current data, economic structures, and consumer behavior to determine the forecasted future of music business and why music streaming is a deceiving business model that will ultimately result in net losses, inconsistency, and angry musicians.
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