The Pros and Cons of Streaming

When building a music career it is important to not only evaluate yourself and your music, but, also to evaluate the market you want to be a part of. This blog will outline just a few of the pros and cons to streaming; making a case for both why streaming can be great for musicians but also what needs to be improved.

Pro:

  • There are now lower barriers to entry in the digital marketplace. It is easier than ever for independent artists to get their music ‘out there’ thanks to streaming.

Con:

  • With lower barriers to entry comes more entrants. Yes, it is easier for artists to make music and release it but that means that there is even more competition. It’s easier to get into the marketplace but therefore it is much harder to cut through the noise and get noticed.

Pro:

  • Streaming gives flexibility in choosing a release date and designing a marketing campaign. This is because you can eliminate the timely and costly element of physical manufacturing and distribution.

Con:

  • Streaming allows for more flexibility in releasing the music but getting a return on investment isn’t as prompt. It can now take longer for artists and labels to see the money coming in from streaming compared to when physical releases were at their height of popularity.

Pro:

  • Even though it can take longer to make back the money you have put into making your music, your income can actually last longer. This may mean a larger amount of total income from the life of your release. Even if income is lower than when physical releases were popular, it is a cheaper way of getting music out there and so the overall profit-margin may be higher.

Con:

  • It can be extremely hard for independent artists and labels to maximise the opportunity in streaming. Getting music onto playlists and getting access to streaming data in order to see the performance of the music on the platforms can prove difficult. There is a huge amount of data flying around and there isn’t yet an easy and efficient platform for everyone to get access to all the data relevant to their releases. This means it is hard to learn from the data and put the lessons into practice.

Pro:

  • Even though it is sometimes difficult to use streaming to it’s fullest doesn’t mean it is impossible. There is a ton of data generated by streaming but any good independent distributor will tell all their labels and artists exactly where their music is being played and by which platform. This can help you plan where is best to tour. The fans are on the streaming platforms so if you can connect the dots between your live gigs and your music available on streaming sites then this can be a great marketing tool.

 

There are many more pros and cons – these are just a few – but this acts as a starting point for you decide how best to use this platform. Streaming isn’t the only way of releases your music, so we encourage you to look into the other outlets available to you before deciding on a release strategy that suits you!

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