For many of us—even without it being much of a conscious choice—buying music has been replaced by subscribing to a music streaming service.
Here in Canada, streaming numbers have long overtaken physical or digital album sales. One study reported over 75 billion streams in 2019, a 30 percent increase from the year before.
Compare that to sales, which have dropped by 25 per cent in the same time period.
As record stores close, streaming platforms continue to crop up. Spotify, Apple Music, CBC Listen, YouTube Music, Tidal - and that's just in North America!
Their offers keep expanding too: just last month, Spotify launched a separate app just for kid-friendly songs.
And it's not just that it's changed how we access music. Listening is becoming more about singles and playlists geared to moods and activities. An endless stream of music, you might say.
Major music events like the Junos usually boost the streaming numbers and sales for winning artists. So with the 2020 Juno Awards coming up on March 15th, we are looking into what we gain and lose when streaming music. And how is that changing the music that we listen to?
+ Liz Pelly is a writer covering music, culture and streaming, and a contributing editor, columnist and event producer at Baffler Magazine. She's also an adjunct instructor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
+ Gary Sinclair, Lecturer in Marketing at Dublin City University, who's studied how our changing habits around music listening affect our sense of music ownership.
+ Miranda Mulholland, musician and owner of Roaring Girl Records, and a musicians' rights advocate. Her album, By Appointment or Chance, is nominated for a JUNO this year in the Traditional Roots Album of the Year category