Music streaming wherever you are
Streaming music feels almost as old as the internet itself but due to limitations in bandwidth and high data costs, not many South Africans have been able to experience this, says Matthew Thackrah, Deputy MD and Head of Consumer Electronics and IT Solutions at Samsung South Africa.
However, with the influx of undersea cables bringing a wealth of bandwidth and connectivity and fees are becoming more affordable – offering the ideal platform from which to start benefitting from music streaming. People can now use streaming services like Simfy, GrooveShark, Last.fm, and many online music channels to listen to their favourite songs without having to purchase CDs or audio tracks.
The majority of local radio stations are also streaming their content online (aimed primarily at the expat market) so there is even less of a need to own a radio as you can now use your mobile phone or home computer to catch up with the latest news and talk shows.
The growth of audio streaming and its importance for the music industry have been significant in recent years. In fact, the respected US singles chart, the Billboard Hot 100, is for the first time including YouTube streaming data in the methodology used to make up the chart. Viral hits are featuring prominently with the recent flavour of the moment, the Harlem Shake, becoming only the 21st song since the chart’s launch in 1958 to go straight to the top spot.
Clearly the world is changing and our expectations of our music and how we access our favourite songs are different than a few years. Streaming music has become the fastest-growing sector in the music industry, with analysts saying that on-demand services generated more than £650 million last year.*
Mobile devices have become a key enabler of these services as the market starts using smartphones and tablets to access music online. However, cynics say that they much prefer to listen to their songs through a decent sound system than on the relatively small speakers of a mobile device. Yet, the integration of wireless technologies such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi between a mobile device and a docking station or speaker system negates that criticism.
This has made it easy to link your mobile device to your wireless network at home, connect to a music streaming service, and blast out the party hits through your connected speaker system. Take for example Samsung’s DA-E670 which is not only the world’s first dual audio docking station – supporting Apple and Android devices but so too does it boast a multitude of connectivity and excellent sound. Furthermore, the device offers the user AllShare Play and AirPlay capabilities – ensuring the syncing and sharing of music with ease. So if you have not experienced this for yourself yet, do a search online, subscribe to any of the free services, and experience mobile music the way you want to. Oh, and don’t forget the audio dock!