Music streaming first became prominent when the internet was vastly expanding, providing means for artists to showcase their work on websites such as YouTube and Soundcloud and streaming services such as CDBaby and Spotify. The music industry can be a very difficult place to break into, as it is subjective and very competitive. However, the internet has provided endless opportunities for people who do not wish to take the traditional route. This has allowed many artists and musicians to expand their businesses, create a following and discover other like-minded artists without actually having to leave their homes to attend concerts. Music is no longer just sound; now there are incredible visual aspects involved, as well as marketing and advertising techniques. The internet has become a place to further the development of existing Hollywood stars, but also provide the potential for rising stars to gain notoriety.
Although YouTube is over 10 years old, it has grown tremendously over the years and is now the top website for watching videos (Dredge 2018). This platform has changed the way many people think about and access media, making it easy for music and other content to be shared from the comfort of your own home. Although the content is still free for users, people who post are now able to make money through ad sales and branding, which makes it desirable (Person 2017). Now, many YouTube stars are considered to be just as popular as some Hollywood movie stars (Dredge 2018). These people are desirable to work with because they have made it possible to network online, combining their YouTube channels with promotions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. If these stars primarily focus on music, it is likely that they will also upload their songs on Soundcloud, Spotify and other similar sites, enabling them to get even more publicity. People who are receiving record labels in this day and age are not just internet stars, although it is certainly easier to discover people when they are already popular online. Talent is still able to be discovered the traditional way through auditions, getting an agent, etc., so record labels are able to represent a good mix of artists coming from different backgrounds.
Many popular artists today had to start from somewhere. For example, Ariana Grande was able to use technology to her advantage to accelerate her rise to fame. She started by posting music videos online and gathering a following until she was eventually discovered by Nickelodeon and cast in a well-known television show (Wolfson, 2017). She worked through years of contracts which eventually landed her several record labels. Today, she is one of the most popular influencers on Instagram, probably because people have been following her journey for years and she has grown into a mature and talented woman who has helped shape the music industry. The internet provided her with a platform to begin her work and now that she is well-known, she is able to consistently produce music, collaborate with artists and companies and give her fans content online.
In the year 2022, it is likely that music streaming will continue to grow. According to people who work at developing record label companies, the playing field for music is vastly expanding and requires a different and updated process almost every time new music is released for their artists (Music Streaming is Booming, 2018). In comparison to years prior, the radio simply isn’t as popular today. People prefer to have subscriptions to streaming websites for $9.99 a month, such as Spotify. Additionally, the playlist culture is becoming very big, so people tend to create their own selections of music versus listening to an entire produced album. Record labels also must adapt to this in order to be successful. Songs are now even structured with streaming in mind, adhering to certain time constraints and what is popular at the time (Music Streaming is Booming, 2018). This is key area of growth for the industry within the next few years because, in order to maximize profits and marketing techniques, artists and producers are now looking to please the general public by using certain standards. They do this through data trafficking of these streaming sites to see what is the most popular and how people tend to listen to their music. Additionally, subscriptions will become even more important, as people are paying to listen to music directly through the sites for a monthly fee, due to how it used to be years prior where individual albums would be purchased from specific artists.
- Anon, Music streaming is booming… So what happens next? Music Ally . Available at: http://musically.com/2018/02/15/music-streaming-booming-next/ [Accessed September 6, 2018].
- Dredge, S., 2015. YouTube is 10 years old, but what will it look like in 2025? The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/feb/16/youtube-in-2025-future-predictions [Accessed September 2, 2018].
- Person, 2017. The Future of YouTube. The New Yorker. Available at: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-future-of-youtube [Accessed September 2, 2018].
- Wolfson, S., 2017. How Ariana Grande became an unlikely pop hero: ‘We are not objects. We are queens’. The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/may/24/we-are-queens-ariana-grande-unlikely-pop-hero-manchester [Accessed September 6, 2018].