Why do we care if a streaming service has 25 or 30 million songs available (Tidal vs. Spotify vs. Apple Music)? Soundcloud’s new paid for streaming service claims far more than this. On any of these platforms there is simply too much music to get through in one lifetime.
So what is actually important? Curation, sound quality, engagement.
The service that gets this formula right is on to a winner.
I think in the future there might be a macro level split in offerings between legacy recordings, and those by artists currently still working and touring. They might need to be approached differently.
The touring aspect – live music – is the most scarce resource in music at the moment. Software is eating the world otherwise, making recorded music ubiquitous – and in need of curation to add value.
Sound quality might be fixed by MQA, but that will require a whole new sound system that is compliant with the standard. I’m not sure this will work as intended – the investment is too big.
It’s an interesting time to be alive in terms of music. Nobody has it right, but everyone is trying.