”Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity…It’s terribly exciting. But on the other hand it doesn’t matter if you think it’s exciting or not; it’s what’s going to happen.”

David Bowie

Sonos, with Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, JB Hi-Fi and Songl streaming have made my mp3 collection feel somewhat superseded, if not redundant. Just paying for two of these services, after the trials conclude, will cost a total $22.90 per month, much less than the 10 tracks one once purchased in CD format, only a few short years ago.

Reading the articles bemoaning the loss of revenue to artists from the ever-growing range of music streaming sites and tools reminded me of Bowie, who hit the proverbial nail, during an interview back in 2002 when he said, “exciting or not; it’s what’s going to happen”.

Of course, ‘bemoaning’ is not the right word and one should be concerned about nurturing artists and the arts but this is now ‘happening’ and if you love music, it is pretty hard to resist the allure of the endless ocean of tunes.

Cory Doctorow has repeatedly said that ‘streaming will fail’ as people like to own things. I think he may be very wrong but time will tell. I suspect that our relationship with the physical thing that was a book or recording is changing forever.

The iTunes’ matching service seems like a somewhat desperate ploy to stave of the inevitable but I guess many people have lots of time and money invested in their collections, stored on hard-drives, so it just might work. Some denied it was a cynical ‘laundering’ service but others thought it was just a different, quite clever model, for music subscription.

The pace of change and innovation driven by users, in the music and photography industries, as I have said before, shows how much education is languishing in the past.

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by babyben

What do you think?

Update: read more here about Australian music streaming options.



    • Paddy O'Shea

    • 12 years ago

    too true Darcy. We tend to use the radio function in Grooveshark more and more. Just couldn’t be bothered actually selecting music to listen to in this busy world. Just select a genre e.g. “blues” and hit play. If you don’t like the particular track, then skip.

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