Borrowing music?

In Hypebots latest blogpost the recent change in the music industry is described as a shift from ”buying music to borrowing music”. But is this really an accurate description? Did the passive music listener really ”buy” music before, when it was delivered on a LP or CD? And is ”borrowing music” really a good description of the new industry landscape of streaming services?

Actually in the old days of LP and CD, the listener only bought the physical piece of plastic that the music was delivered on, he never ever ”bought” the music itself. There has always been regulations on what is legal to do with the music you ”bought”. You couldn’t multiply it and sell it, you couldn’t play it in public without paying even more to some other ”owners”. To put it simple: It’s not yours, cause you did not buy the music. You bought the experience of listening to music. Big difference.

Unlike the old time record stores, the new streaming services, like Spotify, don’t claim that they sell music, they speak in terms of selling an ”experience of listening to music”. As if this is a major change!

I believe that the real change, that we all need to acknowledge, is that the new streaming services are finally putting words to how the record industry has always worked. It has simply been blind to the fact that it’s not selling music. The product was always the experience of listening to music. And that has not changed a bit.


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