Monday, July 7, 2014

Music - Rent Or Buy

The music industry is facing a difficult hurdle as the rise of streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, and others are affecting the sales of downloadable music.  Consumers seems happy with a monthly subscription service that in fact lets them listen but not own their music.  The result, "listeners in the United States used such audio and video streaming services to listen to 70.3 billion songs in the first half of 2014, an increase of 42 percent from the first half of 2013."  Unfortunately, "According to Nielsen, 120.9 million albums have been sold so far this year, down 14.9 percent from the first half of 2013. Of those albums, 62.9 million were on CD (down 19.6 percent) and 53.8 million were digital downloads (down 11.6 percent)."  What isn't clear is whether the net effect is good news or bad news, revenue wise, for the music industry.

Certainly, on the video side, the success of Netflix and Amazon Prime, echos a similar path as streaming video growth expands.  Its effect on dvd sales must be equally noticeable.  No longer is there a need to buy the movie or TV series if the content is just as easily offered in a streaming subscription service.  The challenge, of course for both video and music are the license fee rights.  When they go away, the content is no longer accessible by the subscriber.  Netflix subscribers just saw that recently as some content vanished as new content entered the library. 

At least with ownership of content, music and video, it is owned in perpetuity, or until we lose the cd or scratch the dvd.  Oh well.

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