2016 brought forth a new leader in how people listen to their favorite songs: streaming music.
In the past year, streaming music has become the biggest revenue source for the music industry, and the forecast does not call for change. Not when it earns Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon – the leaders of this streaming revolution – more than a pretty penny.
Spotify ultimately leads with the largest number of subscribers. Apple Music is trailing closely due to its infused compatibility with the beloved iOS software. Artists’ decisions to sign an exclusive contract on Apple Music has also bolstered their position as Spotify’s biggest competition.
Student Bethany Lupinski had a definite choice on what was her favorite way to listen.
“I love Apple Music because I don’t have to download another app on my phone, I can just open my music,” she said.
“I feel like out of all the top streaming apps, Apple has the option to the most content,” she said, when explaining why she chose Apple Music. “Some songs can only be found on Apple Music!”
Amazon is the most recent competitor in the streaming race. It’s predicted to become a strong force in 2017.
The cost of subscription is a deciding factor in choosing which app you stream from. Spotify and Apple are aiming at the millennials and student users.
Both applications offer a four-year discounted subscription option for enrolled college students. The discount is $4.99 per month for a period of four years.
This premium rate is available for the average time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree. This is half of the normal $9.99 per month that other users pay.
“I never paid for a streaming app until my friend told me about the student discount,” student Alondra Guzman said. “It’s totally worth it. I can listen to everything.”
Some people like to pick songs that go with whatever mood they are in, whereas others prefer to have premade playlist to choose from.
“I have personalized playlists made for every day, whether I’m going to the gym or it’s raining,” said student Kayla Chernoff. “I use Spotify because I can create as many playlists as I please instead of having to go individually play each song.”
The most prominent problem with streaming music is that you won’t be able to instantly stream music if you don’t have an internet connection. However, most apps have a download feature that allows for on-the-go streaming.
Zach Hodges, a student who is a frequent downloader, had a lot to say about this option.
“For my job I travel a lot, this means I am always on airplane mode or driving hours through a dead zone,” he said. “The instant download ability is so important to me.”
Although Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon are the most-subscribed apps, there are many others that are favored.
“Personally, me and most of my friends pay for SoundCloud,” said student Jenn Gryzwinski, who has been using SoundCloud for two years.
“We really like it because it allows anyone to upload their own music for others to stream.”
It is too early in 2017 to predict who will hold the title of top subscribed music streaming app. But regardless of which app attains the coveted position at the top of the heap, it’s certain that streaming will remain the top revenue source for the music industry for many years to come.