Haven’t I been here before? Downloads vs. Streaming vs. Vinyl January 7, 2017Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
This piece, oddly enough, ties in with IEL’s post on televisions during the week. He writes:
It really is astonishing how much Television , the technology, streaming, channels, pay TV and so on has changed in my own lifetime….
It appears that vinyl is back again with a vengeance as has been noted previously on this site.
More than 3.2m LPs were sold last year, a rise of 53% on last year and the highest number since 1991 when Simply Red’s Stars was the bestselling album. This was also the first year that spending on vinyl outstripped that spent on digital downloads.
Well that’s good. But wait…
She said the trend towards streaming – which has rocketed 500% since 2013, with 45bn audio streams over 2016 – had led people back to vinyl as a way of tangibly owning music and because streaming had encouraged music discovery.
But for those of us who download that’s bad. I’m signed up with Emusic, have been for over a decade and in that time have had the pleasure of literally hundreds of albums to listen to.
Streaming though? Not sure I’m keen on that. Paying a flat fee of 10 euro for everything – or rather everything that the streaming companies offer, seems to me to be a bit, well limited. Part of the enjoyment of music for me is not the availability of everything all the time immediately but instead the filtering process. I like getting a few albums a month that I can listen to intensively. Add in a number of tracks – particularly in electronica, and away I go.
Moreover, my tastes are sometimes (but not always) a bit off the beaten path. Or can be. Emusic and sites likes that are perfect because they deal with smaller labels. There’s always band camp and fair enough that would have to do. But on foot of a piece by music blogger Mark Mulligan that the iTunes store will stop offering downloads…
Since Mulligan’s article was published, rumours have been swirling about plans to kill off iTunes downloads in the next two years, but an Apple representative has since denied this report to news website Mashable. Other analysists are convinced that downloads will eventually end, or at least diminish significantly, but they envisage a longer timeline. “Transitions like this take years and years,” comments Dawson from Jackdaw Research in an article published by Computer World, “there will come a point where Apple will turn off the lights because no one is in the store, but it will be a very slow transition.”
Trawling through platforms like iTunes and Spotify, it quickly becomes obvious how unsuitable the current set-up is for classical music listeners, who may want to identify tracks by work, composer, ensemble, conductor or label rather than simply artist and song – not to mention those who want to read well-researched and written liner notes. Classical music enthusiasts, perhaps more than other groups of listeners, are often collectors as well as consumers, and for those listeners the download model may remain more attractive than streaming.
So, peering ahead a few years I can see a situation where I’ll not be streaming because frankly I like my iPod, but I’ll be back buying CDs and vinyl. But hold on – haven’t I been there before?