Today, we use smartphones for great many things, from checking out the odds at Betway to making payments, keeping in touch, watching movies, and, of course, to Music Streaming. The latter is a very widespread activity: people listen to MP3 files downloaded on their phones and to music streamed from video sharing services like YouTube and dedicated audio streaming outlets like Spotify, Apple Music or even MTN Music Plus. So much so, that Music Streaming is slowly becoming a threat to traditional music distribution services – like radio, for example. The signs of the transition from the airwaves to the digital realm have started to show in several European countries – and the USA.
The BBC, defeated by streaming
The BBC, Great Britain’s state-owned media giant, admitted last year that its radio service has crumbled under the blows dealt by the many online streaming services – at least when it comes to the important demographic of youngsters aged 15 to 24. According to the numbers revealed by the media conglomerate, while around 88% of the country’s entire adult population listens to the radio, the number of young listeners is decreasing year after year. Between 2010 and 2018, the number of 15-to-24-year-old BBC listeners has decreased by almost 1 million, the numbers show. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that, in parallel with the decrease of radio consumption, the number of streaming users increased fast. And why shouldn’t it – streaming services offer the exact content the listener wants, no matter if it’s talk shows, podcasts, or music.
Streaming beats radio in the US by next year
According to the research company eMarketer, the number of listeners tuning into online streaming services, online radio, podcasts, and similar services will finally grow to overtake radio listeners over the airwaves in the year 2020. The company expects at least three-quarters of all internet users listening to digital audio through the internet at least once a month this year, most of them using smartphones and computers, and a significant portion – around 30% – smart speakers. According to eMarketer, people’s listening habits are different in the digital age: instead of passively absorbing the content (music, in our case) from the radio, they engage in a much more active way of doing so – seeking out the music they want to hear instead of waiting for it to be broadcast by the radio DJ.
Music Streaming kills the “radio star”
Like in the case of TV, where an ever-increasing number of viewers “cut the cord” and transition from traditional cable TV to the likes of Netflix, the listeners of the digital age are also leaving the airwaves for a more personal streaming experience. Is this a good thing? Well, it remains to be seen…