Why Music Streaming Services Aren’t Good for Anybody

Streaming music may be the way almost everyone listens these days, but that doesn't mean that it's the best way by a long shot.

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If you're like most people, you probably listen to most of if not all the music you hear on a daily basis via some sort of streaming service. Whether it's a paid service like Spotify, Apple Music, or Tidal or a free service like Pandora, more people than ever are listening via streaming services, and it doesn't look like this is going to change any time soon.

While it might seem like this is the only way worth listening and every other way is either antiquated or unnecessary, that isn't the case. Music streaming, while convenient, isn't without its negative aspects, and in this article, we're going to look at a few of them.

Streaming Doesn't Pay Artists

Unless you're talking about the biggest stars in the world, streaming services don't pay musicians very well. Even for those stars, streaming services don't pay as well as most of their other sources of income. That doesn't matter for a big star, but it does to smaller artists.

For a smaller artist, streaming pays effectively nothing. This means they need to turn to other avenues to make a living, mainly live performances. With the current state of the world, those aren't happening very often, and they likely won't return to how they were for quite some time.

How Much Do You Appreciate the Music?

Streaming services turn music into more of a commodity than an art form. Almost anything you could ever want to hear is there, all you need to do is press play. This sounds like a great thing for music lovers, but even with music there is still such a thing as too much of a good thing.

For many of us, music has largely turned into passive entertainment, a background activity. You don't carefully choose an album, play it, and absorb it the way people listening to music 50 or even 20 years ago did. For some people this is fine, but for many of us, we're missing out, even if we don't realize it.

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Thumbs Down to Thumbs Down

Some people advocate for streaming service, even paid services like Spotify or Apple Music, as essentially the modern version of listening to the radio. These services are how you discover music, then you go buy the album or go see the artist live once you've come to realize how much you like them. This is partially true, and that's a great thing, but that radio analogy has one problem: the dislike button.

Customizing the music you hear can be great, but it also robs us of something the radio did give us: a lack of control. If a song comes on and rubs you the wrong way, you can hit the dislike or thumbs down button and you never hear it again. What if you might have liked that song or artist if you'd given them the other chance.

What if meeting people worked this way? Think about how many friends you have now that you weren't sure about the first time you met them. If you had to choose all of your friends for your life up until now, it would look quite a bit different, and maybe not for the better.

What Are Some Alternatives?

If you like the idea of building a personal music collection, you always have the option of buying vinyl records, CDs, or even cassette tapes. You may even want to buy different releases in different formats, depending on what is available. We've already looked at some of the benefits of building a physical music collection.

Assuming you like the idea of collection music but don't want the clutter of records, tapes, or CDs, you can always buy digital music. You can play these on your phone or even a portable music player, if you prefer. As we've looked at in the past, both phones and dedicated music players have their uses. Just find what works for you!

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