The Inevitable Often Takes Way Longer To Happen Than You Might Think

I saw the news today that Nielsen reported that Streaming Now Officially the Number One Way We Listen to Music in America and I thought to myself “didn’t that happen a decade ago?” The report goes on to say that “on-demand audio streams surpassed 251 billion in 2016–a 76 percent increase that accounts for 38 percent of the entire music consumption market.” I guess that 38% is a global number and that streaming is over 50% in the US. At least that’s how I interpret the article.

Back in 2007 and 2008, I wrote that streaming was preferable to file based media. I expected the market to flip quickly.

A decade later, the market is in the process of flipping.

I started listening to streaming audio when Listen.com launched its subscription music service (which became Rhapsody and then Napster) in the late 90s. I moved on from file based music almost twenty years ago.

Which is a reminder that something may be inevitable, but that doesn’t mean it will happen quickly.