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Streaming music is better for the environment than downloading music

Streaming music is better for the environment than downloading music

You can recycle, cut out plastic, switch to renewable products and use eco-friendly technology all you want, but if you listen to music, you’re still contributing to carbon emissions. A new report shows that certain methods of consumption are more harmful than others. Rolling StoneThis video explains why downloading music is better for the environment that streaming.

In recent years, physical album sales have increased, especially in cassette and vinyl formats. In December of 2021, vinyl experienced its biggest sales week in the U.S. since 1991 when 2.11 million vinyl records were sold. This is partly due in part to vintage trends making an appearance and the booming vinyl community via social media platforms like Instagram.

While it’s great to see people purchasing albums and artists making a genuine profit from all the sales, it’s actually harmful to the environment because many of the materials used in the records, CDs, cassettes and their packaging aren’t recyclable. Therefore, downloading and streaming are more environmentally-conscious methods of consuming music — but there’s still a difference between them.

The Rolling StoneThe article mentions that streaming and downloading songs require the same amount. But, once the track is downloaded, it takes less energy to play it again, whereas re-playing a streamed song will require the same amount of energy as it did the first time. This is due to the fact that both the listener (DSP) and the streamer (streamer) produce greenhouse gases. Streaming songs require twice as much battery life than downloaded songs.

Spotify, one of most popular DSPs worldwide, released a new version. Sustainability report in 2020, which stated that the servers used to allow listeners to stream music require a lot of energy, and thus produce over 70,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, which is the most common greenhouse gas. Additional 70,000 tons were also produced by listeners.

And that’s only Spotify — that doesn’t take Apple Music, Amazon Music and other streaming platforms into account, so imagine what the total looks like.

This means that downloading a song will only cause carbon emissions once and not every time it is played via streaming. Rolling StoneIt was claimed that there would be an 80 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions if all songs could be dowloaded rather than streamed. This is partly due to the fact that people would use less battery life to listen to them on their devices.

Spotify’s premium account offers the ability to download songs and albums to your own library. It’s cheaper to download music or albums if you listen to them often, regardless of whether you use Spotify’s premium feature or purchase it individually. It would be better for the Earth if someone streamed an album more than 27 times.

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Unless they are acquiring a huge amount of streams, musicians don’t really make much money streaming. Headphonesty revealed in early 2022 that Spotify pays artists $0.0033 per stream, which means it would take 303,030 streams to make $1,000.

We are not here to tell how to listen to your favorite artists. But, if there’s a way that you can have a positive effect on the planet, and potentially help those artists make more money, then why not look into it?

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