Services like Spotify get all the headlines, but there’s a
not-so-quiet revolution in music production, and low-latency streaming is driving it.
We’ve all done it at least once. Even I’ve done it, and that’s saying a lot. Stream songs from a music ser- vice, that is. Even for old-guard
music listeners like me, who insist on owning
most of the music they consume, there’s always
one or two songs that deserve a listen before
A decade ago, the idea of streaming music
didn’t really find traction because not everyone
was connected—smartphones were just reaching critical mass—and metered cell phone data
costs meant streaming songs could become
Jump ahead to 2018, and apparently a lot of us
stream, enough so that Spotify was able to pull
off a fairly unique public listing on the New York
Stock Exchange on my birthday in early April.
Spotify, as almost everyone knows, took the
anti-iTunes approach, streaming songs with
enough success that Apple has now had to an-
swer back with Apple Music, or risk playing its
last song with i Tunes downloads, which have
shrunk 25% year over year for the past 2 years.
The company continues to perform, saying as
recently as early April that it expects to turn
a profit in 2021, around which time it will have
also doubled both its user base and its paying
But consumer music services aren’t the only
space that streaming has impacted music; musicians and producers are using it to collaborate
and create as well. Is there a principal role for
streaming in the orchestra of music production?
In this second of four 2018 articles on various
niche streaming verticals, we’re going to explore the use of streaming in music production.
After all, if delivery by streaming is growing, it
stands to reason that overall music production
itself is also growing, presenting an opportunity to use low-latency streams to connect musicians across the world.