It’s clear that streaming is the present and future of music consumption. Chance The Rapper’s ‘Coloring Book’ was the first streaming-only album to win a Grammy this past weekend, Prince’s Warner Bros. catalog was streamed almost 5 million times in two days (up 6,323% from the previous two days) after being released onto more streaming platforms, and more and more services are popping up to compete with streaming giants like Spotify and Apple Music. According to a report published by Parks Associates, there is a dark horse in the streaming market: Amazon Prime Music. The company’s senior analyst says, “Nearly one-half of streaming music subscribers, the equivalent of 15% of all broadband households, indicate they have a subscription to Amazon Prime Music.” In the Middle East, streaming service Anghami–which co-founder Eddy Maroun says was created when he figured out that piracy was the only option for music consumers in the region–has 33 million users.
So the question is no longer whether streaming is going to survive the music industry, it’s how the music industry is going to survive streaming. The monetization of music, and specifically monetization of composition copyrights and compensation for songwriters, is under turmoil in the digital age. Streaming services are finally starting to embrace the industry where they derive the value for their businesses, with Spotify hiring former manager Troy Carter, and more recently, Amazon hiring Alex Luke, former Executive Vice President of A&R at EMI Music, to serve as Global Head of Programming & Content Strategy. Partnering with digital service providers is the only way for rightsholders of music to make streaming work for both consumers and creators of music alike.