周二， 流媒体音乐服务商Pandora公司的股价出现下跌。韦德布什证券（Wedbush Securities）分析师迈克尔•帕切特将其“跑赢大盘”评级下调为“中性”。之后，这家音乐流媒体服务公司更是一蹶不振。周三上午，它的股价出现小幅回升。有报道称苹果公司（Apple）即将推出音乐流媒体服务，帕切特提到Pandora面临着这方面的竞争。他指出这只是该公司面临的“逆风”之一。
因此，流媒体用户受到了挤压，而唱片公司和艺术家也是一样。《纽约时报》（The New York Times）的本•西萨里奥周一撰文探讨了这样一种现象，即当音乐进行流播放时，除了最受欢迎的艺术家以外，其他人从中获得的收益非常之少。即使音乐流播放一百万次，产生的收益可能也只有几千美元，甚至更少。在周二发表的后续博客文章中，西萨里奥提出了一个重大、而且至今仍然悬而未决的问题：人们还会继续希望拥有自己的音乐吗？或者未来就在于流媒体这个伟大的“天国点唱机”（celestial jukebox）？问题的答案将帮助确定音乐行业能够预期获得哪种类型的收益。而且，这还没有考虑音乐行业周边的很多法律问题，比如如何针对不同的流媒体用户和广播电台（包括网络和线下的）制定版税税率。
Shares of Pandora fell on Tuesday and stayed down after Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter downgraded the music-streamer's stock from "outperform" to "neutral." Shares were recovering slightly on Wednesday morning. Pachter cited competition from Apple's reportedly forthcoming music-streaming service. That was just one of the "headwinds" facing Pandora, he noted.
But the strongest headwind facing not only Pandora (P) but the entire music business is the continued fall of the market price of recorded music, whether that price is paid by listeners or by advertisers. No matter which type of delivery, the hard fact is that a growing segment of the audience no longer expects to pay for music, or at least expects to not pay much. Ad rates, particularly on the mobile platforms that people increasingly favor for streaming music, are in the basement.
So the streamers are squeezed, but so are the music labels and the artists. The New York Times' Ben Sisario on Monday examined how little all but the most popular artists earn when their music is streamed. Even a million listens might yield just a few thousand dollars or less. In a followup blog post on Tuesday, Sisario noted a big, so-far-unanswered question: Will people continue to want to own their own music, or does the future lie in streaming -- the great "celestial jukebox?" The answer will help determine what kinds of revenues the industry can expect to earn. And that doesn't even take into account the many legal questions surrounding the music industry, such as how to set royalty rates for the various kinds of streamers and radio outfits (both on the Internet and off).
Some observers note that artists were similarly squeezed when CDs came along in the '80s. CDs were considered specialty products, and at first, artists got relatively little, if any, money from their sale. That all changed as CDs quickly became the favored format, and the music business saw a renaissance that peaked in the late '90s. The same thing will happen with online music, the optimists argue.