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The Contender
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Music streaming services are bad for the music industry

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/26/2018 Category: Music
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 852 times Debate No: 118733
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)




The music industry has seen a change that has damaged the artistic value of music. Due to streaming services like iTunes and Spotify, There's been a change in what's celebrated. Before streaming services, Artistic innovation and long-term gratification was celebrated. You'd drive to the music store, Buy an album, And listen to the whole thing. You'd go on a journey with the music, And you were more willing to work to understand the music.

Now, The opposite is true. It's all about instant gratification. You can immediately listen to any song from any album. If the song doesn't have an immediate hook, Or some other superficial gimmick to keep you listening, You move on to the next song. There's no willingness to work for the music.

Since consumers are only paying for superficial music with less artistic value, Artists are only willing to release superficial music with no artistic value. The same chords and melodies are used over and over again.

Streaming services have changed the landscape to instant gratification, And this has actually damaged the artistic value of the music.


Listening to music using streaming services is a different experience to buying albums as my opponent described, And I think it is better in many ways.

One advantage is that you have a huge selection to choose from, Money is no longer an obstacle. You are no longer limited to what you can afford, And your collection which you will inevitably enjoy less and less as time goes buy.

You don't need to question whether or not you should buy an album, You can access music you never would have considered buying, And no harm is done if you don't like what you hear. You can still choose whether to invest time into letting something grow on you though, Streaming services don't force an instant gratification attitude on you, The option is simply there.

My opponent argues that streaming services have decreased the quality of music produced today, I disagree; the improved accessibility of music means that artists can take from a wider variety of influences, And also promotes competition due to the need to stand out in an ocean of content; how easy is it now to get away with releasing low quality music when so many other people can easily do the same?

You can only innovate and create unique music if you know what already has and hasn't been done, And it's easier than ever to research this thanks to streaming and peer to peer networks. As for the music industry, Live shows aren't going anywhere soon, And streaming gives a free worldwide platform to promote yourself. Miles Davis even said that his albums were advertisements for his live performances; they are where the money is really earnt and where, In my opinion, Music is best experienced.

There is a wonderful universe of music for anyone waiting to be discovered, Whether you like superficial music with no artistic value or deep captivating jazz odysseys; streaming, P2p, And an internet connection makes all of this possible.
Debate Round No. 1


The interesting question isn't whether or not music with artistic value exists, Or even how accessible that music is. The interesting question is whether or not mainstream artists have incentive to create artistically valuable music.

Artists don't have a financial incentive to innovate anymore, And this is due to the industry's shift to instant gratification. In recent history, A very high percentage of the charting hits in the music industry have been written with the I, IV, V, VI chord pattern, Or with simple variations of that pattern. On the production side, The sounds and styles have become predictable and similar in many radio hits. Melodies and lyrics often feel like regurgitated versions of the previous hit.

The fact is, If artists don't use those four chords, Along with predictable melodies and production sounds, The chances of their songs getting picked for radio are slim.

It's virtually undeniable that popular music has become uncreative and predictable.

Compare today's pop music with the pop music created in the pre-streaming service industry. The chord patterns, Melodies, Innovation, Album creation, And lyrics were significantly more sophisticated. This is because consumers were more willing to forgo immediate gratification in favor of the long- term, But more valuable, Gratification these artists offered. Even the one-hit wonders and cheap pop hits were more musically sophisticated than the majority of modern pop music.

In his response, My opponent seems to reinforce some of my points. He admits that streaming services provide the option for instant gratification, But contends that instant gratification is not forced. The option remains for consumers to avoid instant gratification. I agree. Even if some consumers choose to avoid streaming services, Almost all music consumers have not. The fact that many submit to the instant gratification mindset is what drives the incentive for artists to provide instant gratification.

He admits that you do not need to listen to an entire album before deciding if you like it. This is absolutely true, And it cheapens the music. It allows consumers to make a decision before taking in the entire work. This reinforces my argument.

He seems to celebrate the business aspects of streaming services, But doesn't seem to recognize that this instant gratification business mindset is what is destroying the art. It is clear that today's music is made by businessmen, Rather than by artists.


Depends on what you consider to be mainstream. Most people do not have a strong interest in music so it doesn't pay off to be innovative, You risk alienating some of the huge target audience for which almost by definition is the sole reason mainstream music is made.

My opponent brings up the fact that popular music is now designed for instant gratification and sounds too predictable, I agree but I think it has always been this way. Take surf music for example, Songs were always very short so that you wouldn't lose attention so easily and shared the same cliches. The I-V-vi-IV chord progression has been done to death for decades, It's nothing new.

I think the fact that people tend to go for the instant gratification option is not the fault of streaming but a symptom of another problem, Reminds me of those who blame fast food restaurants for making them fat.

Mainstream music is certainly not destroying the art, It just exists in a slightly separate world, For example there are plenty of popular musicians making artistically valuable music today like Ariel Pink, Flying Lotus and Death Grips; they all make a nice living from their music, And financial incentive or not there has always been fringe artists pushing the boundaries and creating amazing work, And with streaming they are thriving more than ever before.

Streaming simply highlights rather than causes the fact that most people are happy with the way mainstream music is today.
Debate Round No. 2


maxtheaxe forfeited this round.


morwinny forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by billsands 3 years ago
Screw the music industry that make to much money and are sexist drug addicts
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