The recent rise in subscription-based music streaming services has caused a heated and polarized debate over genre diversity, business models and revenue streams. On the one hand, music streaming represents a model with the potential of restoring a music economy that has been declining ever since the turn of the millennium. On the other hand, music streaming seems to further skew revenues towards the top international hits, fuelling concerns about the model’s sustainability for large sections of the music economy. Building on two studies of Norway’s experiences from adopting the streaming format, this chapter seeks to understand why subscription-based music streaming seems to be perceived so differently by different segments of the music economy. The chapter presents and discusses explanations to these tensions and suggests possible actions to further develop subscription-based music streaming.
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