In Episode 8 of Sounding Bored, we looked at the pros and cons of streaming. It's a topic that a panel of representatives of independent labels discussed at the recent AIM Music Connected conference - and the verdict was largely positive. The panel agreed that streaming is a major revenue source, lowers access barriers for their artists and delivers invaluable data and marketing opportunities.
However, as you might expect, it's not all rosy. Panellists talked of the need to ensure that financial return is maximised, with YouTube's model a particular concern. I confess to getting much of my exposure to new music these days via YouTube, and it's true that while in some ways it's a promotional device, it rarely inspires me to then listen again via a means that pays a better rate to the labels (e.g. downloading or buying a physical copy). The warping effect of streaming on the charts was also mentioned - something that needs to be addressed if they're not to become largely meaningless.
(Thanks to Simon for the link.)