Internet streaming is currently the fastest growing way for consumers to listen to music. What’s still unknown is which service will become the standard for how we consume streamed tracks for years to come. In an article written for Quartz, John McDuling poses the question: will music streaming be a “winner-takes-all” market like other internet trends of the past, such as social media and Facebook or search engines and Google?
Besides the companies created solely for the purpose of streaming, such as Spotify and Pandora, many of the internet’s biggest entities are already investing in streaming services to add to their cache of assets. Apple recently purchased Beats Electronics; Google owns Songza, not to mention its control of YouTube; and there is now Amazon Prime Music.
Companies are still showing very little profit from streaming. The article goes on to analyze the predicaments of the different types of streaming models. While radio style services are the most profitable, the largest, Pandora, still showed $75 million in losses over the last several years. In comparison, because of its “on demand” structure, Spotify has much higher content costs. However, after a 15 year decline, streaming services are predicted to show growth in 2015.