Digital music seems like a much more green answer compared to listening to music through physical mediums, like vinyl, CDs, and so on. However, as it turns out, digital music might not be as green as we had hoped for. This is according to a study by researchers at the University of Glasgow and the University of Oslo.


According to Dr Kyle Devine, an Associate Professor in Music from the University of Oslo and one of the researchers, he acknowledges that overall plastic consumption with regards to music has diminished over the years, but he also points out that as a result to transitioning to digital-based music and streaming, our consumption in other areas have gone up.

“From a carbon emissions perspective, however, the transition towards streaming recorded music from internet-connected devices has resulted in significantly higher carbon emissions than at any previous point in the history of music.” That being said, tech companies are aware that their servers do consume a lot of energy. Companies such as Apple have been trying to make their operations as green as possible.

According to Devine, “These figures seem to confirm the widespread notion that music digitalised is music dematerialised. The figures may even suggest that the rises of downloading and streaming are making music more environmentally friendly. But a very different picture emerges when we think about the energy used to power online music listening. Storing and processing music online uses a tremendous amount of resources and energy – which a high impact on the environment.”

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