"Streaming has killed the mainstream"

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Purple Jim, Dec 28, 2019.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Senior Member Thread Starter

    Following on from this otherthread:
    Streaming: why is it so unsatisfying?

    From The Guardian:
    Overload and isolation: the decade that warped popular culture

    Everything has turned to mush.

    "The challenge of too much music and too little time could drive a music fan to desperate measures. Research suggests that average song lengths have decreased significantly in response to streaming, while canny writers and producers are placing the chorus at the start of singles (such as High Hopes by Panic! At the Disco) to hook browsing listeners instantly"

    "Streaming seems less active, a steady state that turns music into a utility, something on tap – like water. Where obsessive accumulation of solid-form music or immaterial files involved passion and even an element of pathology, streaming breaks with the hunter-collector psychology. It’s like radio, except there’s little or no public dimension. Occasionally, your streaming selection will coincide with large numbers of other people – the waning flickers of the monoculture drawing you all to the same spot. But mostly your journeys through the library of sound are solitary and asocial."
  2. rs4951

    rs4951 Forum Resident

    Interesting article. I recall talking about the MTV generation wanting it all and wanting it now....how slow was that pace compared to now!

    Netflix considering 1.5 times speed for tv so people can see more....I think I need a mindfulness session...
  3. andartu83

    andartu83 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, streaming makes music cheap, less valuable and not scarce.

    But on the flip side, it gives more music producers an avenue to be listened. We are no longer working on selling CDs in the millions with only 1-2 hits :)
  4. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian

    Cincinnati Ohio
    Oh, great. Another "Streaming Bad!" thread. Streaming can be very useful. But it's just another medium to consume music, same as vinyl, CDs, etc... Plenty of people misuse streaming in my opinion but hey, that's just my opinion. I do agree that mainstream pop and rap songs are being front-loaded with choruses and hooks right off the bat but that's been done for decades. It's just gotten more popular now that there are so many choices out there on the streaming services that a song has to grab a listener right away. The age of a slow-building song is fading. Sad, really. But, as the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
  5. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Senior Member Thread Starter

    Things haven't stayed the same at all.
  6. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian

    Cincinnati Ohio
    I meant in how younger people are consuming music. They've always been a fickle bunch and songwriters and producers are just marketing more towards their shinking attention spans.
    As far as the the music business goes, you're right, things aren't the same at all. I completely agree. And until artists start actually making money from streaming we're going to see the quality of music go down. Hopefully that gets fixed before all the truly good and interesting artists get tired of it and give it up.
  7. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Senior Member Thread Starter

    ...but younger people are consuming music in a completely different way to before the streaming age.
  8. Hot Ptah

    Hot Ptah Forum Resident In Memoriam

    Kansas City, MO
    Anti-steaming thread of the week. How many variations of the anti streaming thread can there be?

    Reading an anti-streaming thread is a good cure for insomnia though. One can already predict the responses and the way that the thread will unfold through many pages of posts.
  9. wallpaperman

    wallpaperman Forum Resident

    Here we go, popcorn at the ready. :-popcorn:

    Not sure it will achieve much to start a new thread based on an old one that got locked.

    That being said, it’s a shame that people can’t remain civil and respect others points of view.
  10. bostonscoots

    bostonscoots Forum Resident

    Boston, MA
    My favorite moment in any thread which pops up with regularity is someone complaining about it.
  11. Danby Delight

    Danby Delight Forum Resident

    Two things:

    1. "Omigawd, song lengths are decreasing and people are putting the chorus at the front!"

    Oh, so like in the sainted 1960s, when AM radio played two and a half minute singles and songs like "She Loves You" and "Mr. Tambourine Man" started with the chorus?

    2. "People are listening to music by themselves!"

    Yeah? So? I've been doing this for 50 years, and while talking about music has always been a social activity, as are going to concerts and record stores, music listening has always been something I do by myself or at most with my wife. Aren't people here always going on about their fantasy listening space with a single chair in the sweet spot?

    None of this is new, you guys.
  12. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Flaneur

    Perth Australia
    Ah yes it's that time of the week again. Time to start yet another thread declaring streaming the end of Life, The Universe and Everything.

    Think I'll pass.
    Grant, Scott222C, team2 and 7 others like this.
  13. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo Music gives me Eargasms

    Ottawa, Canada
    In before the lockdown....
    Rooster_Ties, eric777 and Chemguy like this.
  14. BeatleBruceMayer

    BeatleBruceMayer Forum Resident

    She Loves You started with the chorus.
  15. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Senior Member Thread Starter

    ...but you didn't.
  16. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Silly. Streaming has become the latest boogie man for all sorts of technophobes and doomsday scenario writers and general cultural kvetchers. The writer is just bemoaning the change from the mass media paradigm of the last century, to the interactive network media paradigm of the internet era, a change that streaming didn't cause or create. Streaming hasn't done anything that the arrival of the commercial internet hadn't already done a quarter of a century ago. The writer is 25 years late.

    Sure, the arrival 25 years ago of the commercial internet, the infinite-channel media multiverse it allowed, and the user-controlled, self-selecting, interactive elements of that universe in contrast to the methods of the old, mass media paradigm created an environment in which there's not the same kind of pop culture center that there used to be in the middle of the last century. But streaming, or the 2010s, didn't "break pop culture."

    And in truth, that old pop monoculture was a bit of a myth in the first place, not a reflection of the fact that everybody liked or listened to the same thing, but a reflection of the fact that so many, so many voices, so many stories, were just invisible, marginalized, and invisible in that old paradigm. Maybe that was less true in the UK than in the US, but in fact in the 1960s in the US for example everybody did NOT grow up listening to the Beatles or watching Gunsmoke. There was a mono-narrative because the media was a smaller, tightly controlled, non-interactive, push media not a two way, media full of user generated content and messaging, that reflects the actual choices and diversity of the audience/population itself. Access to the media, and representation in the media now more broadly reflect a more diverse, larger world population than the mass media-controlled seeming monoculture led people to believe existed decades ago.

    I'd also suggest that in fact that there IS still a mainstream. The most popular TV shows and movies and records, are still the most popular and still are shared -- people share streaming playlists, they listen together to music at place of work, at social gatherings, at commercial establishment, and they trade memes that refer to a common culture they understand. Around here at least there will was a year in which "Old Town Road" and artists like Billie Eilish and Lizzo and pop fads like "Baby Shark" were a shared thing of the moment. The idea that internet driven, social media enabled media interaction is "solitary and asocial," is just plain wrong.

    The writer, Simon Reynolds, proclaims himself one of the "professional monitors of mass culture," but I think he is one of these people still, 25 years later trying to fit the square peg of the mass media era into the round hole of the interactive, network media era and kind of missing the story. But that also reflects a demographic cultural trend -- there are more old people as a percentage of the world population than ever before (Reynolds and I are the same age, so I understand the presumptions he grew up with about "mass culture" and mass media), and missing what's actually going on.

    Oh, and btw, most people never interacted with music as "hunter-collector" types. Reynolds is also filtering his vision of a "broken" popular culture and collapsed mainstream, not through a lens that reflects what they mainstream ever actually was.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
    evarlam, crispi, Freebird and 37 others like this.
  17. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    The scary thing is not really streaming, it's just a symptom of the times, but what an overload of frontloaded information does to our attention span and our poor brains.
  18. Kevin Davis


    Excellent, excellent post.

    Streaming comprises a very small percentage of my own personal listening but I really like this take on the topic.
    head_unit, BeatleJWOL and Hot Ptah like this.
  19. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Senior Member Thread Starter

    ...their poor brains.

    Though I understand the point of view of the journalist, it's really all down to how one uses the streaming service in the end. Constructing playlists of things one loves and discovering similar things in the wink of an eye is a wonderful thing.
    It's also great that youngster don't feel obliged to spend decades collecting physical media. So much choice can be bewildering but looking at how my kids behave with it, to them it's like a wonderland sweet-shop where they can consume anything and everything to their hearts content and all the while discovering new things (new and old).
    troggy, erikdavid5000 and Man at C&A like this.
  20. PopularChuck

    PopularChuck Forum Resident

    Bay Area
    The Beatles!

    There. We got that out of the way.
  21. phillyal1

    phillyal1 Forum Resident

    philadelphia, pa.
    The history of Tin Pan Alley is songwriters influenced by publishers and modifying the way they write songs for more commercial appeal. Just transpose this to today's technology. I have faith that there will always be iconoclastic individuals in the future who will "do their own thing' and it will be great.
    nosliw, erikdavid5000, ARK and 5 others like this.
  22. Saintbert

    Saintbert Forum Resident

    It does happen that I talk with a friend about music, and the one is not familiar with the other's favourites, given our individualized listening habits. We could go home and bring back tapes to share, or I could sit by the radio tuned to a channel for a week hoping to get an idea of what my friend has been listening - or we could share songs and playlists on a streaming service in an instant.

    There are many things to concern oneself with. I didn't until this day think that the fate of the mainstream would be such a thing.
    ARK and Hot Ptah like this.
  23. rebellovw

    rebellovw Forum Resident

  24. MIKEPR

    MIKEPR Forum Resident

    And what makes you think that not everyone in the UK didn't listen to the Beatle's either?
  25. HotelYorba101

    HotelYorba101 Forum Resident

    I feel like the growing trend of anti-streaming threads here in general derail the SH Forum more than streaming does with actual music listening
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page