Opinion

Can Music Streaming Help or Hurt Reggae Music?

Music streaming will never kill music purchases and downloads, which is a big concern of a lot of artists and labels. They will coexist. To what degree will be decided by the marketplace.

Music streaming is now a fact of life. There are still some points of contention as it is a relatively new business model in comparison to direct music sales. The issues will all get settled over time as interested parties arrive at agreements. The progression of music distribution and consumption has been interesting to watch through the years, as it parallels the movie industry. Music consumption has always been technologically fueled, and it is not surprising that we’ve arrived at streaming. With the progression of media storage technologies wax, tape, CD, DVD, and digital MP3 music streaming is driven not only by rapid advances in technology but even more so by our willingness to adopt those technologies. Remember when a phone was just a phone? Now a phone is a personal digital emporium of whatever you want. Find a girlfriend, locate your car, order up a taxi, buy a pair of shoes, check into your flight, and among it all music consumption with a ease we never had before.

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Screenshot of the Artekal Music reggae msuic streaming app on an Android phone.

Reggae music as a niche genre, albeit an outsized one, struggles to get the cash register ringing for a few reasons. The main one seems to be that people who truly love Reggae music don’t take the time to buy Reggae music. That must change, there should be more awareness around that. Nothing in this world can survive without economical support. Artist creativity is innate, but lets face it, the bills need to be paid. Streaming music has the potential to give a boost to Reggae music. Allowing fans of the genre to not only enjoy their favorite artists, but to also explore the explosion of artist creativity from around the world with an ease that was never before afforded. Music streaming will never kill music purchases and downloads, which is a big concern of a lot of artists and labels. They will coexist. To what degree will be decided by the marketplace. The economics will get better understood.

There was a time when everyone thought the internet was going to kill the TV. That never happened and they now exist in a happy symbiosis. So will streaming and music downloads. Accessibility can transform markets and products. Streaming music will make Reggae music more accessible to more people. Its not unusual to discover a song on a streaming platform like Youtube then purchasing it. Each platform in the new music landscape has its role and creatives and consumer alike should embrace and maximize.

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