December 9, 2016 by Joy Thompson
Right now, in your pocket, you have access to at least 20 million of songs through phone streaming music apps like Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube Music.
Streaming music services like Spotify, Tidal, Google Play, and Apple Music have permanently altered the way we listen, purchase, and collect music. We’re all spoiled with excessive amounts of music, and as much as record executives and select major label artists want to change that, there’s no turning back.
Recently, The Grammy’s made a major update to their eligibility rules. Streaming-only albums that are released on paid-subscription services (ex: Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal) are now eligible for one of those giant gold awards. Worth noting: albums released on platforms like YouTube, 8Tracks, and Pandora are not eligible still.
Here’s a snippet from an official press release about the news:
Before you give the award show credit for
being forward-thinking catching up with the current state of music, just know that this rule change didn’t come without persuasion. The biggest advocate for the change was 23-year-old musician Chance The Rapper, a hip hop artist who prefers to release his music as free downloads and streaming-only.
Here was one of Chance’s tweets that escalated the movement…
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) May 8, 2016
It just so happens that Chance’s latest album The Coloring Book was a critically-acclaimed smash hit this year. The album was also the first streaming-only album to chart in the Billboard Top 200 (peaked at number 8). The album had an unprecedented 57+ million streams in its first week.
Here was his tweet after the official word came in about the rule change.
The victory this morning isn’t about me, it’s about all the Soundcloud albums that may now be recognized for excellence.
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) June 16, 2016
In the past, he’d be just a spectator at the Grammy’s. Now, he can add to his resume 7-time Grammy nominee (and likely winner). These are the major award categories that Chance has a shot at winning:
It wasn’t long ago that people (like me) were upset that Netflix moved away from shipping DVDs. Now, these same people (me included) don’t even own a DVD player. Laptops and cars don’t even get outfitted with the CD slots anymore. And just because they can, Netflix recently unveiled offline streaming.
“Ouch” – the DVD bin at Walmart
Spotify not only has every song you ever wanted to listen to, plus every song you would never be caught dead listening to, it also makes really informed recommendations for new music (read more about machine learning). It curates playlists just for you. It updates you when your favorite artist releases new music. Long gone are the days of scouring music blogs to stay hip.
It begs me to ask the questions… WHY in the HECK would you go back to physical releases???
Chance The Rapper is well-aware that his audience is online all the time. He’s also aware that album sales in every form (including digital albums) are continuing to free fall.
You know where this is going…
According to Billboard, from the beginning of 2016 to the beginning of July, people listened to over 200 billion songs via streaming platforms. Maybe more importantly, revenue was up from the previous time period– 1.98 billion vs 1.82 billion. A huge chunk of that increase in revenue was due to streaming revenue.
This is the future of music. You can fight it, complain about it, even boycott it. In the end though, you’ll be a left with a stack of CDs and nowhere to play them.
(dropping the mic)
The music industry isn’t much different than your industry. All business is moving online. Contact us today to help you dominate your place on the internet.