The Impact of Music Streaming Services on Local Scenes

When the first online music streaming service, Napster, burst onto the scene in 1999, it had far-reaching effects on how people listened to and consumed music. With services like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music now available, even more people can listen to music on-demand and on the go.  
 These online services have had an even more significant impact than their file-sharing predecessors — they've brought about changes in music consumption that are still reverberating throughout the industry. The rise of Internet streaming has transformed the listening habits of individuals and how local communities consume music. 
 Everyone listens to music, but there is no denying that specific geographic locations shape trends in listening behavior.  
 The rise of online music streaming has done nothing to reverse that trend. Internet radio and streaming services have only made local listening more relevant than ever before.  
 It's a fairly standard idea at this point, but it bears repeating: More people have access to a more significant number of artists via online streaming services than ever before.

What Is the Data Saying?

Despite their negative connotations, streaming services have been linked to a rise in local music consumption. In a study by USC, 66% of respondents listened to local artists using a streaming service.  
 This factor was cited as being more impactful than other factors such as discovery methods and location-based preferences.  
 Before streaming services, consumers would be forced to purchase albums from physical record stores or illegally download music from file-sharing sites.  
 The advent of streaming services made it easier for listeners to hear what they want without breaking any laws. 
 These days, consumers aren't just listening to music in isolation. They're also discovering new songs through playlists created by musicians and fans alike.  
 This helps explain why services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music are inextricably tied to local scenes—and not just in one market but in almost every market they operate in. The impact is even more significant when you consider all forms of discovery.  
 From press coverage to video content, artists increasingly need their brand to be present everywhere their audience consumes media. Now more than ever, you can't do it alone.

How can Radio Stations benefits from how local communities consume music?

The radio industry has been turned upside down by streaming services, but local stations still have a place in music consumption.  
 The last several years have seen a rise in community radio stations that allow people to listen to up-and-coming bands and talk shows that highlight cultural events.  
 Smaller radio stations benefit from having a tighter relationship with their listeners, who are more likely to pay attention to ads and interact with hosts. As many as 75% of people say they want more localized news from national news outlets.  
 One reason is that they can relate better to it: Smaller, hyperlocal media sources help them find relevance in an increasingly homogenized world.  
 And just as people can use these services for entertainment purposes, local businesses can use Spotify's tools for business purposes.

Using traditional music research and chart monitoring is “backcasting”. Using MUSICDATAK is “forecasting”.