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The Blue & Gray Press | August 21, 2018

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Taylor Swift continues to turn the music industry inside out

Abul Hussain/ Flickr

By MONA OSMER

Taylor Swift’s most recent breakup will not be made into a typical melodramatic love song, but it has created a strong ripple effect in the music industry.

Last Friday, CNN reported that Swift removed all back catalogs of her music from the popular digital music service known as Spotify, which allows users to listen to a large variety of music for free online, as well as on their phones with a paid monthly membership.

Although this act has proven to be a strategic move by Swift to boost the sale of her new album, “1989,” many artists have followed suit in an attempt to reap the same reward.

And yet, “Spotify is now earning some artists more money than iTunes,” as was revealed at the 2014 Web Summit in Dublin, Ireland. Furthermore, Spotify says that, “over 70 percent of its revenues go to artists, but just between $0.006 and $0.0084 is paid for each play, depending on the artist.”

Streaming services such as Spotify make music more accessible and easier to share. That is why they are succeeding in making revenues. In fact, a similar service known as SoundCloud, promotes the creation of music as well as the progression of underground musicians in the competitive music industry.

I am an avid fan of SoundCloud, and to put its effectiveness in perspective, I was listening to the sweet and soulful melodies of Sam Smith at least two months before he hit the charts in the U.S.

Co-founder of Soundcloud Eric Wahlforss attests, “Making music is now for everyone.”

Launched in 2007, Soundcloud allows users to upload their own music and embed it anywhere, making the spread of music attain lightning speed. I for one do not want the stigma that Swift has raised around online streaming to divert the use of these streaming centrals and the music that they are able to provide.

“The remunerative bit still has to be figured out,” U2’s lead singer Bono said at the Web Summit, but online streaming is “an experiment,” and the now looming future of the music industry.

I relish the fact that at one point in time we had to rely on radio stations to put out new music. Now, I have it at the tips of my fingers: artists that have not yet been discovered or morphed by mainstream music.

Simply register and choose through the multitude of genres that Soundcloud has to offer. Based mostly off hash-tagging, users ‘streams’ become filled with artists and songs that have been tagged by genre, artist and song. Users can also search for specific artists and songs.

The future of online streaming is being scorned for its widening of the once elite pool of the music industry, how ironic. Artists such as Jon Bellion, Logic and the previously noted Sam Smith owe their success to the sharing of music that has been made possible by these sites.

The growth of music promotes the growth of culture and widens our worldview. Although, it is important that artists receive royalties for their music, it is also important that music be shared and enjoyed.