Most of the criticism aimed at music streaming services is based around the idea that streaming services do not do enough to “compensate” artists for their music being streamed.
Whether you believe this to be the case or not (hint- record labels keep all the money), the the discussion of artists being screwed by streaming platforms misses a greater problem- the “consumer” being screwed.
For the “consumer”, (industry-speak… some might prefer the term “citizen”) the cost is higher than it has ever been before and the currency is control of your information.
Streaming services track what you listen to and store this data about you. If they know what you listen to regularly, they know what you consider to be legitimate and can use this to manipulate you. They can aggregate this data with other data they have on you to profile you and sell your information on.
On top of this, services such as Spotify collect far more data than just what you listen to. This tracking is particularly bad if your Spotify is linked to your Facebook account.
And this is not just the case in music technology but in many forms of modern technology. Ever wondered why companies like Facebook are worth so much money even though they don’t sell you anything?