To stream or not to stream: that is the question. This question refers directly to artists who wonder whether or not to stream their music online. This topic has had some musical controversy (i.e. Taylor Swift stating that she believes music should not be free), yet many artists still believe in allowing for free music downloads. Despite some artist hesitation, streaming for a profit definitely seems the way to go for artists like Taylor Swift; there is definitely something likeable about an artist who wants their fans to listen for free.

Artists have differentiating points of view on streaming music. Some have said that the benefits are astronomical; with being able to download music at a fingertip, fans find streaming music to be a cinch and there does not seem to be any stopping it. There is also the large, monetary benefit that comes along with streaming music. With it being so easy, singers and music artists are able to have their songs heard, paid for, downloaded, and listened to all within a few moments. This incredibly quick transaction allows listeners to quickly sift through their songs while hearing multiple pieces that the artist put out. The great thing about streaming music is that a fan can choose how many songs that they want to buy if they do not want to purchase the entire album.

Going back to my initial statement of some artists not being on-board with this, Taylor Swift has stated that music should not be freely downloaded. The Style singer’s objection to free downloads is that every artist deserves to be paid for their hard work. With downloading music being free, what artists are benefiting from this?

Free downloads do have their perks, though. The musical group, U2 announced this past year that their latest album would be free on iTunes for everyone since it would be directly installed into every user’s library for free. The alternative rock band was quite progressive in their means to get their album out to the public for free. Not only were their fans excited to hear the news of a free download of the Irish, rock band’s latest album, but they in turn were able to reach new demographics of music enthusiasts who may have never heard U2’s work. This new audience was enthused to listen in on the album due to it being so easily accessible on their music platforms at no cost to them. Unfortunately for U2, their free album later led to larger problems in the public’s eye via social media and outraged listeners who did not want to have U2’s album directly installed into their libraries. Despite this, U2 had their guitars strumming to the right chords at first.

Sites like Amazon Prime Music, Grooveshark, Pandora, Spotify, and iTunes make streaming music incredibly simple. All the user needs to do is download the program or create a username, enter their email address, make a password, and they’re ready to start the downloading process. The price per song or downloadable album ranges depending upon what the record company prices it for. However, the price usually coincides with how popular an album or soundtrack is: the more popular the song, the more the consumer is going to have to pay for it.

Streaming music definitely seems to be the way of the future for the music industry. No matter how famous an artist, who may believe that streaming or downloading music for free is not beneficial to them in either monetary or moral views, the truth is, streaming music is here to stay and artists need to get used to the fact that people will always find a way to download their tracks and/or albums for free. Let’s just hope that more artists are in the U2 mind sight of sharing the music, and hopefully Taylor Swift will learn to shake it off when it comes to free music streaming. To learn more on music streaming, take a look at what others are saying about streaming music within the music industry and let us know what your thoughts are on the topic.

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