What the future of music streaming could mean for DVC


Sarah Carr

Students in music production classes can learn to keep up with a rapidly changing industry.

Sarah Carr, Staff Member

This new way of listening to music has many aspects of the music industry changing. For those majoring in Music Industry Studies, this could mean a drastic change regarding their future career.

Tidal and Apple Music, the newest streaming services to emerge, claim that these platforms put up-and-coming artists in the same spotlight as the big players, and the small price that subscribers pay (compared to purchasing albums and songs individually) is beneficial for “everyone”.

Michael Aczon teaches Music Business courses here at DVC, currently teaching Introduction to the Music Industry this fall. He has an impressive background in the Music Industry, teaching Entertainment Law at the JFK School of Law and San Francisco Law School. He is also the author of  “The Musician’s Legal Companion”, a highly-regarded guide to navigating music business. Aczon’s professions make him a dynamic and valued faculty member to DVC.

“All music business courses change with new technology, since I’ve started here in 1996. That’s what keeps me young. It’s always changing.” Mr. Aczon responds in question of whether or not he’s applied changes to his course curriculum regarding streaming technology.

Aczon says that “new technology is not “designed” to fit anyone. Sure, the leveling of the playing field by allowing anyone to get their music out there sounds like a good idea and IS a good idea. The curation of what’s distributed is what is key…the biggest thing that they have to do is cut through the noise. Those with the resources to promote are probably going to stay ahead of the game. And it’s always been that way”, regarding the claims that music streaming services make about how they benefit the smaller artists as much as the larger ones.

For music majors, streaming technology is an important part of the bigger picture. “The classes that we have here give people an over-view…I think it’s important that it’s incorporated in the big picture.”

“There was a time when the majority of the money was made from some version of the sales of the music, bit it’s not anymore. You have to take things into account, like, now that I have my music out there, how do I monetize the rest of it?”

Streaming technology giving everyone an even chance of being heard has presented new challenges of self-marketing for many artists attempting to break through. When asked on these new pressures of an artist marketing themselves more, Aczon replied with “that is the biggest pressure now. Since it’s available, and since you can compete that way now, the biggest pressure for the artists and their teams and their labels, is how to promote.”

With streaming platforms equalizing the distribution of music for all artists, Music Industry Studies is changing and adapting to the new world of music. Michael Aczon is aware, and prepared for those changes, and plans on making sure his students are as well.