While streaming services have upended the way listeners consume music, the importance of regionality still has profound implications for artists, labels, consumers, and promoters.

A new article at Music Business Worldwide breaks down six particular reasons why with streaming services, we may be thinking global, but still acting local:

  • Styles and subgenres: Streaming has no doubt brought mainstream music to international audiences, but it is also exposing listeners to various local styles of music, including Latin Music and Afropop.
  • Curation: Certain services cater their offerings based on regional cultures, including the service Anghami, which is geared towards populations with large Muslim communities.
  • Socioeconomics: Factors like the availability of credit cards and income level can also shape streaming factors on a regional level. 
  • Infrastructure: Developed nations have easier access to high-speed internet and 5G networks; underdeveloped countries face strict data caps and slower internet. Regions with low internet connectivity and penetration may prevent users from being able to stream music.
  • Metadata: Analytics can help artists and labels connect with their fans, and locality can impact how music is organized in streaming databases.
  • Licensing and publishing: Regional legal frameworks and local laws and regulations can affect licensing, including who has access to what tracks and how artists get compensated.

Even in our golden age of streaming, regionality shapes what we hear and how we hear it.