Mixcloud think the future for streaming is bright – is it a case of “they would say that, wouldn’t they” or a lot closer to the truth than anyone realises?

During the pandemic, live streaming increased massively in popularity. As that first destructive wave of Covid-19 went around the world last March and April, clubs found themselves closed, and DJs started remembering what it was like to have the weekend off. Streaming took off quickly – it wasn’t a full substitute to clubbing, but people accepted this was how it had to be for a time.

There was just one problem. Much of it was effectively illegal. Facebook, the most popular of those platforms initially, didn’t have the licences required for this content. Nor did the Amazon owned Twitch, where many went after Mark Zuckerberg started sending them copyright strikes.

Infact, there are very few platforms which are entirely legal for this purpose. Mixcloud is one of them. And they know it. So it was with interest I read a very long post of theirs about the future of streaming. It certainly wasn’t the most objective thing I’ve read on the subject, but I honestly think there’s a lot of truth in what they’re saying.

I think the hybrid model is here to stay, no doubt about it. Why? Over the weekend, a man called Chris Herd published a series of tweets on the subject of why working from home is here to stay…

We are in a period of seismic change. During World War 2, women had to take factory jobs to keep Britain going whilst the men were taking part in the war effort. Many did hand those jobs back at the end of the war, but women working was basically the genie coming out of the bottle. It wasn’t going back in. And after this period of working at home, the idea everyone will be glad to go back to the office is fantasy.

In future, I anticipate you’ll be able to buy tickets to see your favourite band perform online. It will mean that every show an artist does potentially has a global reach. And setting up an online platform that lets you buy tickets, merchandise, music and whatever else isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.

It’s in the future. It’s going to happen. I suspect as live in-person events return, there will be a backlash against streams and such for a while – but this will only delay it. Things can’t be stopped once the genie is out of the bottle…