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The trend is global: streaming music subscription, listening without downloading, becomes a serious alternative to the purchase of CDs and paid download on platforms such as Apple’s iTunes.


Streaming refers to a principle used to send live content. Streaming is widely used on the Internet, it allows play of an audio or video stream as it is broadcasted. Streaming is opposed to the file download. Download means collecting all the data of a song before listening. Then, the file will be present on the computer.
Music streaming allows users to listen a very large number of songs in several situations like for example, in transport, in his car, doing sports or just being at home.
The most widely used format for listening to music is the MP3 (MPEG Audio Layer-3). This is a compressed lossy format. Also, there is the AAC (Advanced Audio Coding), which is mostly used by iTunes.
The FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) format has a maximum quality, the file size is important but there is no sound loss.
Now, I will introduce the different online music service:

  • Spotify was created in 2008. It offers 30 million songs and a monthly subscription of €9.99 for unlimited listening with one month free trial. But, it is possible to use Spotify free if you agree to deal with recurrent audio and video advertisements. Spotify has 75 million users.


  • Deezer was created in 2007. It offers 35 million songs. It can be installed on his tablet or smartphone. But, Deezer is also available on the web browser. This is the big difference compared to Deezer to Spotify. This service offers a monthly subscription of €9.99 for unlimited listening with one month free trial. This is a non-binding offer. It is possible to use Deezer free of charge but there will be advertisements. Deezer has 22 millions users.


  • Qobuz was created in 2007. It offers 28 millions songs. It can be installed on his tablet or smartphone. It is a French service that offers music of a very good quality and a lot of classical music. This service uses the Flac format, there is no sound loss compared to the CD quality. Also, Qobuz offers a subscription of €9.99 per month for unlimited listening and two other subscriptions €14.99 for classical music only and €19.99 for all songs with a better sound quality. There is a free trial offer of 15 days.


  • Google play music was created in 2011 by Google. It offers 30 millions songs with, like other services, a subscription to €9.99 per month for unlimited listening with one month free trial. In USA, in recent days, Google play music is free but with recurrent advertisement. This service is available on platforms: Android and iOS and web browser.


  • TIDAL was created in 2014. This service offers 25 million songs. To listen Cd quality songs, you will have to pay €19,99 per month. But there is a subscription to €9.99 per month but the quality will be standard. There is one month free trial. But, there is not a free version.


  • YOUTUBE music key. YouTube has formalized the arrival to his music streaming platform “Key Music”. For now it is proposed in private beta in a limited number of countries (Spain, Italy, Portugal, Finland and UK)


  • Apple music. Apple decided to align competition by launching his streaming music called “Apple music”. It will be available from 30 June 2015. The service will cost €9.99 per month or €14.99 per month for 6 users sharing the same account. Apple will offer 3 months of free trial. This offer is controversial because during the trial period, the company will not reverse one cent to label.

By offering legal offers, streaming music is the best way to combat piracy. Two millions French are now subscribed to a service of streaming music. In 2014, streaming 55% of the digital market.
oMAI1-2hPauline DUHAU
Étudiante en Master 2 Gestion et Droit de l’Économie Numérique de l’université de Strasbourg, passionnée de nouvelles technologies et de propriété intellectuelle appliquée au monde numérique.
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