The benefits and drawbacks of cheap music streaming


Charlie Chinander-McFaul

Aidan Sumner-Malmgren, a bassist and sophomore, listens to music on his headphones in the third floor of South high school. “I have no idea [what I’d do without a music app], I probably wouldn’t listen to music,” said Sumner-Malmgren.

Charlie Chinander-McFaul, Staff Writer

With the rise of the internet and easy access to music streaming platforms, many problems and benefits have come to light. With these new music apps such as, Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, and many more. According to Spotify as of 2019 they have over 200 million users, and according to iTunes as of 2018 they have 56 million paying subscribers. Music is now easily accessible for little to no price to people most around the world.

“[Music streaming platforms are helpful] because if we didn’t have them then not very many people would be able to listen to music. With [these platforms] it’s really easy to get everyone listening to music,” said sophomore Noah Abdullahi.

This new way to access music has caused people to discover hundreds of genres and songs they normally wouldn’t have heard of or bothered to purchase. Even going as far as to inspire listeners to make music themselves.

According Rolling Stones associated press poll 74% of American adults believe that CDs are too expensive but, 71% 99 cents is a fair price for a digital song download. To many Americans music has finally become affordable.

“I have no idea [what I’d do without a music app], I probably wouldn’t listen to music,” said sophomore and bassist Aidan Sumner-Malmgren.

Though these platforms have offered their listeners an endless library of music to choose from, they’re generosity is not always extended to the musicians that provide the music.  

Sumner-Malmgren said, “The artist deserves all the credit for their music… [but] where’s all that money gonna come from [to pay the musicians a fair wage]?”

“Music streaming platforms… don’t pay artists very well, but at the same time those platforms help make the artist more popular and help spread their music,” said Abdullahi. “You’re taking a risk by going into the music industry, because being a talented musician is cool and all, but doesn’t really offer you that many skills.”

The exposure can be helpful for the artist. However, sophomore Gailen Mckenna, who plays brass in Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band at South has pointed out, at the end of the day it is a job and they need money.

“I feel that it might be in the artists best interests on the principles of being an artist to allow their music to reach more people,” said Mckenna, “ but… being somebody in the music industry… It’s really hard to find gigs and it’s really hard to make money… and if you don’t have some kind of second job supporting you it can get kind of difficult.”

Mckenna feels that it is only fair to pay a musician as you would pay anyone else for a service. “I feel that… if you’re willing to appreciate the passion [and] the creativity… that’s been put into what you’re listening to, then I feel like you [should pay for the music],” said Mckenna.

Many others argue that the consumer not spending enough on their music is not necessarily the issue, but rather something else that has been around for much longer than Spotify or iTunes. “Managers will often take advantage of their artists. [We should] put less of the blame on Spotify, and more of the blame on producers and [labels who] pray on… talented musicians,” said Abdullahi.

“Easy streaming music is extremely influential in our daily lives because it is a big part of the media we consume, and we often forget how important it is,” said Abdullahi. “[However] it’s not solely the apps responsibility to insure the artist gets paid.”

Either way as the music streaming industry continues to grow the issue is not solved. “I think music is something that’s sometimes taken for granted and that’s also enjoyed by a lot of people,” said Mckenna.