Illegally downloading music became a widespread hobby for people throughout the world shortly after the creation of Napster in 1999. This practice became so widespread that it drastically changed the music business. Nobody was willing to purchase music when they could easily download their favorite songs and albums in only a few minutes. The popularity of illegally downloading music has drastically faded in recent years as millennials have reached adulthood. These are the four biggest reasons why millennials stopped downloading illegal music.
The popularity and success of streaming services can be directly tied to the decline of illegal music downloading. It is possible to listen to almost every song ever made on Spotify, Pandora and the other streaming services. It is also entirely free to gain access to the endless music library of Pandora and Spotify just by listening to a few commercials. Premium versions of these streaming services offer extra features and no ads for only a few dollars each month. There is no reason to spend time downloading music when it only takes a few seconds to find a great song on a streaming service.
It Became Too Dangerous
Downloading illegal music was originally a very safe practice when it was first popularized, but it quickly became a dangerous hobby. The music industry was not happy about losing money, so they forced internet providers to crack down on illegal downloading. If someone was caught downloading illegal music, then they could be denied access to their internet service. The illegal music files also became a popular place to hide malware and computer viruses. The potential dangers of illegal downloading now outweigh the benefits of free music.
It is well known that millennials are far more social conscious than other generations. They will go out of their way to patronize a business that gives back to charity. This social consciousness made it hard for millennials to illegally download music because they wanted to support their favorite artists. An illegal download is taking money out of the pocket of the musician that worked extremely hard to create a beautiful song, so millennials are willing to spend their own money to ensure these musicians get the support they deserve.
Unlimited Data Plans
Almost everyone in the country can now gain access to an unlimited data plan from their internet or cell phone provider, but that was not the case a few years ago. Since millennials do not have to worry about data limits, they are free to stream as much music as they want. This essentially eliminates the need to download music that will take up a lot of storage on a computer or smartphone. A song streamed from the internet sounds exactly the same as a song saved on a smartphone, so there is simply no benefit of illegally downloading music when there are unlimited data plans.
Article by Josh Gruss – CEO of Roundhill music.