Streaming has come a long way since the mid-1990s, last year over 120 billion songs were streamed across various music subscription services, in comparison only 32 million CDs were sold in 2018 and that figure was down by over 100 million since 2008.
Today you have access to over 200 music streaming sites, thousands of podcasts, as well as internet radio from every corner of the world. All were born out of the need to combat internet piracy, at a trade that saw over 95% of songs downloaded illegally in 1999.
Music streaming works in a very simple way: a streaming service delivers data to a streamer in small amounts so that the user can get pre-buffered music that has been pre-buffered a few minutes or even seconds before playing a song.
Given that the user has a good internet connection, streaming technology provides an uninterrupted listening experience, without ever actually saving the files on the user's device.
New and existing customers often tell us that they want to get involved in streaming music.
The first question generally asked is where will the music be coming from? An iPad/iPod? Network Attached Storage (NAS) device? Or just the use of streaming services like Tidal.
Streaming isn't for everyone initially, as its a totally new way of listening to music. Most customers way of choosing music is to go to their collection of CDs or vinyl stored on a shelf or in a drawer. With streaming, we have to give guidance on how a tablet works, be it an iPad or Android device. This in itself can be a learning experience for some customers.
Before choosing the Hi-Fi system, we often give the shops' iPad to customers and asks them to choose their favourite piece of music. For some people this will be an easy process to a) choose their favorite piece and b) navigate a new application. Why do we do this? It breaks the ice into the new way for our customer to choose their music and it will give us a good indication as to a customer's preferred way of navigation.
Navigation within an app can be in a basic text form or a full-colour app interaction. The best thing about choosing your music is that there isn't a right or wrong, its purely a personal choice.
Step forward to the present and Martins Hi-Fi sell an incredible mixture of one box solutions from companies such as Naim, Linn, Cyrus, Melco & dCS. The main question we ask is "do you want to maintain your CD collection?" Years ago we had thousands of CDs to transfer onto HiFi systems, today however it is a rare occurrence.
Streaming products are available on our online shop here