How Streaming Music Stole My Heart

It seems like everywhere you go you see people walking around with headphones in their ear listening to music, podcasts, ebooks, etc. How many of those people do you think stream music? According to Forbes, there are more than 100 million paying subscribers around the world. The idea of streaming movies, music, shows, etc has completely changed the way we consume entertainment. I can’t tell you how long it has been since I have purchased an actual CD!


So how did streaming music steal my heart? Let me tell you. If you have never used Spotify before here is a brief overview: Every month I am charged a $4.99 fee (Student Price) to have access to any song, any time, anywhere, with no commercials (unless I have no service). Instead of paying $1.29 per song on iTunes, I can now listen to as many songs as I want for only $5!!! Tell me this isn’t game changing. If you are someone like me, I am very eclectic in what I listen to. I can go from Texas Country to Mac Miller within two songs, so being able to listen to any kind of music for a flat fee is convenient and a more efficient way to spend my money.

The concept of streaming has already been established with companies like Netflix and Hulu, so it wasn’t a new concept for people to get used it which made its adoption relatively fast and easy. It just made listening to music a lot more convenient and cheaper. Spotify even lets new customers use a free two week trial as a way for them to try the service before subscribing.

Unlike Nelida from Diffusion of Innovations, Spotify was strategic and precise with how they communicated what they were trying to sell. Spotify launched in geographic segmentations, so by the time it reached the US the amount of anticipation for this service was already huge! Additionally, they employed a private beta technique, that only allowed you to use the service if someone invited you, and that person only had a limited number of invites, further creating more buzz around Spotify. Spotify was smart in using word of mouth and creating a sense of need for their service, which made their launch in the US very successful. By the time it had gotten to us, there were already rave reviews of the service and videos of people using it.

In the video The Social Media Revolution 2017, it highlights the way in which the internet and social media has evolved and grown over the last couple of years. The internet keeps changing at a rapid pace, which has made it hard for researchers to conduct studies because what is true today can dramatically change over the next month. In Social Science Research Methods in Internet Time, Karpf describes Barry Wellman suggesting that “an Internet year is like a dog year, changing approximately seven time faster than normal human time.” This statement hits the nail on the head because the internet and the way in which we use it seems to constantly keep evolving. This leads to certain problems though when it comes to research such as the amount of time it takes to publish an academic study, many of the well-known theories can’t be used, and the information available on this topic although plentiful sometimes isn’t useful.

As research on this topic continues to rise, as suggested by “New Media” research publication trends and outlets in communication, 1990-2006, social scientist will have to find a way to incorporate the old theories in a way that can be used by the every changing internet. Karpf gives the advice that instead of focusing on a long-term fix, we should instead look for a short term fix to Internet Research and being transparent in conducting research in this field. The process of publishing may need to be revised/condensed and the way we collect data online will need a better filtering process, but the information and knowledge that could be gained by continued research into this “new media” topic could lead to so much new insights. Like Karpf said, the “Internet research is messy but promising.”


6 thoughts on “How Streaming Music Stole My Heart

  1. This is an interesting post. See, I’m sort of on the other side of the coin — on the business end. Our distributor gives us an option on who to distribute our digital music to. A number of small independent labels do not team up with Spotify because the payouts are non-existent. However, with major labels, from what I gather, if they’re able to get Taylor Swift-like streaming numbers, that does turn into money and Spotify works for them. Since 2000 it’s been very, very difficult to survive. I was talking with a “record executive” a couple weeks back and his staff was cut from 30 in the late ’90s to about 15 now. He’s described the last fifteen years as a blur. It’s an industry very much in flux. Long live Texas country and rockabilly. Waylon Jennings and Cecil Moore forever.


  2. I, too, am an avid Spotify user and I could not imagine my life without it. My taste in music varies from classic Disney songs to Nickleback (don’t judge me, they are still awesome) and i love that the days of paying for each individual song are over!Every month i make sure that i have enough money left over in my account to make that Spotify playlist, even if it effects my grocery fund. I also believe that there has to be a more efficient way to conduct research on the Internet today. It has become such a huge part of our daily lives that it should be analyzed, we just need to come up with a way to do it more efficiently.


  3. This is definitely an innovation I adopted, too. I remember when the iPod first came out and Steve Jobs said it can hold 1,000 songs. I didn’t even think I new of 1,000 songs id want to listen to, so I held out on getting an iPod for many years. Even after I finally caved and got one, I never had more than eight or nine albums downloaded to it, because I didn’t want to pay ~$10 an album in case I didn’t like the music after a few days. THEN streaming happened, and I have SO much music available to me. I rationalize it as if I find at least two new albums or artists I like a month, it pays itself off. I was a late adopter of Spotify, and eventually switched to Apple Music, and I don’t think I could ever go back.


  4. The streaming world is the way everything will be, in my opinion. I absolutely LOVE streaming platforms. I actually do not use Spotify, instead I use Apple Music, which is practically the same as Spotify. No one actually buys a CD anymore, its all steaming. The same can be said for TV and movies. Hulu and Netflix seem to dominate the entertainment world. I don’t even watch cable that much…I spend the majority of my time on Netflix or Hulu. I also think it all comes down to people wanting all there entertainment at their fingertips 24/7. It is amazing how fast digital media changes. It is hard to believe that Vine is dead and not even 5 years ago it was the biggest thing. I cannot believe trying to research topics relating to digital media because you think you have it all figured out and then all of a sudden it changes and your work starts all over.


  5. I appreciated reading your post because I wrote about a similar successful innovation – video streaming services. I agree entirely that all streaming services have completely changed how we view videos and listen to music, news, podcasts, etc. I truly enjoy having access to such an assortment of music choices in Spotify. It’s hard to believe that iTunes used to charge listeners per song. Now, we have the option to listen to absolutely anything we want. I found it very interesting how Spotify first launched in the U.S. The fact that it was so highly anticipated truly added to its success as a streaming service.


  6. Hey Nicole! Your post was so relatable for me as a music lover and as someone on the business side of the industry (my brother is a musician). It’s crazy to see the changing dynamic the streaming evolution has caused in society. But now I can’t imagine a world without it!


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