Music Business

Why there’s confusion over sharing your music

Do you ever stumble over the task of sharing your music? Well you are not alone…

A guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0.

When it comes to sharing your music, there’s often a dilemma about exactly what to send – file or stream? Obviously consumers want streams as do many music professionals, but there are also exceptions as well. When it comes to collaboration, mix or master checking, promotion, and radio, to name a few, then files are often preferred. But there’s always the question of “What should I send?” and that’s what a new study commissioned by sharing platform Byta attempted to find out with its “State Of Music Sharing” whitepaper.

The document was authored by Barcelona-based freelance writer and editor Shawn Reynaldo, who is also responsible for First Floor, a newsletter devoted to electronic music. The project was developed in partnership with researcher Dr. John Sullivan(Ph.D. Music Technology, McGill University, Canada), and it revealed some interesting results, such as:

  • Loyalty to a single file-sharing platform is impossible, particularly when most users are both sending and receiving files on a regular basis. User behavior is highly personalized and context driven. In the absence of standard practices, users are piecing together workflows that fit their specific preferences, using a combination of platforms with the exact functionalities they need. 
  • Flexibility is important, but functionality is an even bigger priority. Faced with a complex and ever-changing file-sharing landscape, simplicity is what users crave most.
  • Users want what they want. When it comes to file sharing, the most logical course of action would be to make as many formats available as possible for recipients. 
  • In the streaming vs. downloads debate, there is no correct answer. Although preferences may be shifting, entrenched camps specifically need either streams or downloads. 
  • Paid file-sharing services shouldn’t be seen as a niche corner of the market. 
  • Security and metadata rank high on the list of user priorities. Frustrations regarding metadata tend to rile up more emotional responses than nearly every other issue. 

The bottom line is that there’s no one service, format or situation that is normal or preferred, so this survey just confirms the confusion. It’s well written though, and an easy read so well-worth checking out if you’re the least bit affected by this question. You can download the whitepaper here.

Bobby Owsinski is a producer/engineer, author and coach. He has authored 24 books on recording, music, the music business and social media.

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