Opinion: Is streaming helpful?


Oscar Richter

Clockwise from top left: logos from popular streaming services include iHeart Radio, Apple Music, Pandora and Spotify

Isaac Harper, Writer

Before I get started with this article let me explain what streaming is. Streaming, without being very technical about it, is the constant transfer of data into a steady processed stream. This allows music for services like Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, and even YouTube.

Now you are probably wondering, “why do I care?” I have been asking myself that question for the past few days. The answer then showed itself to me. While trying to write a review for an album I went on to Spotify to listen to the album. And of course, I chose to listen to one of the dozen artists that do not stream.

While this proved to be a problem at first, it did spike my interest. So, I did some reading and the issue is actually bigger than I expected. There are already a number of artists who have chosen to not allow streaming services to use their music. Those artists include Neil Young, Taylor Swift, Prince, Thom Yorke, Tool, Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean, Bob Seeger and King Crimson.

The reasons span from a lack of physical connection (Tool) to the artists not wanting give their music away for free. Taylor is leading this movement with not wanting to give away her music.

As said by Swift in a Rolling Stone interview, “I’m not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists and creators of this music.”

The fact of the matter is that when we listen to music on free streaming services the musicians get little to nothing, other than advertisement. I’m not trying to put any guilt on anybody, because I also use streaming.

So does this mean that streaming services are going to destroy the music industry? Obviously not. Although it won’t destroy the industry, it will change it. I guess we will have to wait and see what that change is.