Now, where would we tune into some of the best music around if it wasn’t for Spotify? Or wait, Joox? Or is it Apple Music? Which one do you use?
There was a time, which what now seem like ages ago, when people used cassettes for music. You know, the transparent (sometimes not) plastic thingy you could roll yourself and it just looked, well weird?
Of course, people evolved, music evolved, cassettes were out and CDs were in. CDs were pretty cool back then in the 80’s and there was a point in time where they were all the rage. From buying a whole lot of them for movies, to getting your favourite music, CDs then became the way to go.
Things continued to change and grow there on out, and then in the 90’s the MP3 was introduced. At the time, the technology could approximate lossless audio (WAV; AIFF) but required a fraction of storage space. However, many was sparked by the advancement of it all, and before you knew it, every teenager had an MP3.
It was also when the Internet was born and you could say that it was about that time the dawn of music revolution began.
Came 2005, a then unknown major phenomenon was launched, YouTube. It was the same time Pandora’s interactive radio service also came into existence. People begin to find a new way to access music, and the best part? It didn’t require any physical object!
Of course, music albums, vinyl and CDs still remained kind of relevant, (even to today actually), however, we were presented with more convenient options when it came to listening to music: music streaming services.
One of the early streaming services, besides YouTube, came in 2006. It was from Sweden and was none other than the now over-299-million-user platform, Spotify.
The idea of the streaming service actually came to creator Daniel Ek in 2002, after he watched Napster (a peer-to-peer filesharing Internet software, which emphasized sharing digital audio files, typically audio songs, encoded in MP3 format), in action.
Just 5 years after Spotify’s launch, in 2011, the company announced that it had already reached over 11 million users!
Then, with time, other music streaming platforms began to sprout like mushrooms after a storm, some pre-existing and then becoming famous like Apple Music, YouTube Music and others, new ones like Tencent Music, Soundcloud, Gaana, etc.
More and more people were introduced to music streaming services, and suddenly, you could rarely find a cellphone that didn’t have at least one music streaming app. However, like any business, some of those services became more dominant than the others.
For instance, based on data from April this year, Spotify held the highest percentage of paid subscriptions by brand, with a hefty 35%, followed by Apple Music at 19%, Amazon Music at 15%, YouTube Music at 6% and the others combined at 25%.
Both recording artists, as well as streaming platforms also begin to earn a good amount of money, every time a song was streamed by listeners. As a matter of fact, music streaming became a rather significant way for artists, to earn a side income.
How this happened was, for each stream, streaming companies like Spotify or Tidal, paid a certain set amount to right holders. The money although not evenly segregated, then went to labels, publishers as well as artists.
Which is typically where we’re at right now. But as we delve deeper into the digital age, many wonder which of these streaming services is actually the best?
Well, preference on a general scale is rather subjective, so we can’t tell you which one is the best for you. However, each one does have their strong suits, so it basically just boils down to what you’re looking for.
Fortunately, Business Insider did highlight some famous details on a few popular streaming platforms and this is what they concluded:
Best music streaming service overall: Spotify
Best music streaming service for Apple devices: Apple Music
Best high-resolution music streaming service for audiophiles: Tidal
Best music streaming service for Amazon Prime members: Amazon Music Unlimited
Best music streaming service for Google users: YouTube Music