It's become clear to me that listeners are quickly becoming caught in the middle of ongoing competition between Apple and Spotify. Spotify is easier to use and certainly won't corrupt your iTune library. On the other hand Apple seems to be getting the streaming rights to albums absent from Spotify. The latest releases from Gregory Porter, Radiohead, The Rides, and Antinio Sanchez for example. Spotify also seems to be missing many ambient music titles by Steve Roach and the Projekt label. While I like the ease of use Spotify offers I will be watching closely as Apple re-tools it's service in the coming weeks and take another look at Apple Music if the trend continues.
Digital services like Amazon, Google Play, and even iTunes have just a slight advantage they offer legal digital downloads, but all music streaming services have issues with missing content, and this is the rub, and also the hook for the services that offer both music streaming plus digital downloading of legal music files, these services are betting on consumers who are impulsive and do not have any patience to wait. In the old method of buying when it was vinyl, cassette tapes, CD releases, I would still wait several weeks before buying new releases as the prices would start to drop on the formats offered, and/or I could find rather almost new second hand copies in re-seller music stores after a few months at a very good reduced price from the original sales price a few weeks previously. Music consumers would just copy the content, and then sell the originals back to re-seller businesses.
Spotify when it first landed in the States still had a digital MP3 buying music service alongside the music streaming in a few markets, but it was in the works of being phased out, as at the time music digital downloading was dropping every month when new content was released, and so the focused was on the digital streaming side for the Spotify service. You can find content on one or many other streaming services that might not be on Spotify at that exact moment, and vice versa. Also since music streaming has basically saved the major label recording industry from completely collapsing totally, streaming has brought some small renewed interest back in either digital, CD, and even vinyl versions of their favorite releases, but CD buying and legal music digital downloading is still nowhere where it was at it's peak when those formats were the thing, even the new interest in vinyl releases again is still only a very very small market and if you look at those releases they are done in limited maybe 400-600 unit runs like multi color vinyl offerings, so collectors will snatch them up rather quickly, the average consumer mostly misses out on these limited new release vinyl runs anyway.
Pop artists are doing what is called windowed releases, giving a few weeks during the release to see how well CD's and legal digital download sales go. Most pop artists have enough sway and big cash value to their name to demand up front fees before a single note is ever recorded, and so they care not how the music gets spread even if that means music buyers might rush out to spend $12.99-$15.99 for that new release.
If you have the patience give the most popular releases a couple weeks from original release date, nine times out of ten the release shows up on the Spotify service with two to three weeks anyway. A much shorter wait time, were in the old days I would wait 4-6 weeks or longer sometimes before venturing out to buy new content on CD before music streaming, and even before iTunes/Amazon/Google digital downloading was around that is.
There is just so much content on the Spotify service that it is rather easy to fill the anticipation time of two or three weeks checking out other stuff that is available, and then hitting that new release up that might have had a slight delay when it does drop eventually. How many movie watchers who have cable TV just wait until a new release pops up four to sixth months later, and see it in the comfort of their own home away from the rude masses who can not stand to turn their phones off for a mere hour and half?