Why are so many Internet titans getting into the game? The answer is simple: dollars and cents.
Online streaming, by which users listen to music either for free or for a monthly fee, is the fastest growing form of music listening, according to industry reports.
The Recording Industry Association of America, in its annual report, said that while overall music sales were down in 2012, digital-music sales were up 14%, topping $4 billion.
“Digital growth was driven by large increases in revenues through what can broadly be referred to as ‘access models,’ where users can choose to listen from large libraries of music rather than purchasing individual songs or albums,” the report read.
At the top of that heap are sites like Pandora and Spotify. Pandora lets users give it suggestions, then creates a personalized radio station. Spotify lets users pick exactly what they want to listen to out of a library of more than 16 million songs. Both make money either through ads or by letting users pay a monthly fee to go ad-free.
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