But Van Buskirk also suggests another reason for streaming, not acquiring music. It's liberating.
"There is a certain relief with not having to own music. It is a lot of work," he said. "So the challenge is how to still feel like you are building a [music] collection."
Portability of music is another big issue for many consumers. Recent Georgia tech University graduate McCall King, 23, says she needs her music accessible all the time.
"If I could reliably stream music for free to all of my portable devices I would use streaming sites exclusively," she told CNN.
King says she prefers streaming because it allows her to access a large variety of music.
"I discovered She and Him, Zoey Deschanel's band before she was ridiculously famous, and I never would have sought it out on my own," she said.
Porter says the way people own music is transforming. He believes the cloud model is where the state of music is heading, and for many people ownership is not essential.
Porter poses the question of what is ownership. "I think ownership is access, you don't have to have music on your local hard drive to own it," he said.
Old media sticks around
If you listen to some young people, you might think that few people in the future will ever want to own music. But Peter DiCola, professor of economics and law at Northwestern University, disagrees.
DiCola believes that music consumers' transition to a full streaming model will be a lot slower than people think.
"Old media sticks around," he said. "FM radio is still around, and just because tech is new doesn't mean it is better in all dimensions." He cited vehicles as one area where streaming music will be slow to gain a foothold.
"Think of Napster," he said. "When it came out people were saying the record labels would disappear, but they didn't."
There is more to owning music than simply the convenience that digital media provides. Some consumers still want to own a physical memento by an artist they love, whether it's a CD with artwork and liner notes or just a few lines of digital ones and zeroes on their smart phone.
Maybe that's why sales of vinyl records have been on the upswing in recent years. Resnikoff says this is because the need to own music is also influenced by human psychology.
"The music fan never ceases to surprise me," he said. "If you told me five years ago there would be a boom in the sale of vinyl records I would have laughed. But people are buying them, and I think there are some people that will continue to buy music [and not just stream it]."