Will The Cloud Save The Music Industry?

Will The Cloud Save The Music Industry?

The music industry has taken a bit of a pounding in recent years. Illegal downloading brought a once vibrant industry to its knees. Yet, despite being the first victim of the digital revolution, somehow the music industry is still standing, finding new revenue streams and branching out.

What the music industry had to find was how to make a generation who have never paid for music to start doing so. For a decade the music industry has been declining. So how do you manage to get people to pay for music?

Convenience. Cloud music services give you access to an unbelievable amount of music to a variety of devices. You can have the same- or different- music on your computer, MP3 player, smart phone, games console, ipad, ipod and set-top boxes. The possibilities are endless. You can have a vast library of music that you never lose because you are using a cloud service. A computer server which is connected to the internet which you then stream. Will people pay for that?

It would seem so. Spotify has become hugely popular. Google have launched a competitor to iTunes. Other subscription music services are Songl, Deezer and MOG. Another benefit for these sites are that they are legal. While being put in prison for downloading music illegally is rare it is still a risk. If you really love music most people are happy to pay for it to some degree. This is backed up by a study that found that music pirates are ten times more likely to buy music.

The fact that this was down just 0.34 per cent on 2010 was a cause for celebration in the industry, which believes the decline may have bottomed as its emerging subscription-based model starts to gain traction against the free search engines such as Torrents and LimeWire. The latter – LimeWire – which remains under a court order (issued October 2010) to stop distributing software, is being sued by 13 music companies in the US.Subscription based cloud music services have been gaining on free search engines like Torrents and Limewire where people can download music illegally. Limewire even remains under a court order from distributing software and is being sues by thirteen music companies in the United States.

Apparently Google also plans to release a wireless stereo streaming system for peoples homes which would carry its own radio service.

Amazon, ever the frontrunner, has announced a cloud-based music service that will allow people to store their music and then access it anywhere.

Cloud based music subscription allow users access to millions of tracks for a monthly fee. These are gaining traction. Let’s wait and see if they can save the music industry.

By Catherine Balavage

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