"Streaming has killed the mainstream"

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

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  1. Rich C

    Rich C Forum Resident

    Northbrook, IL
    "But mostly your journeys through the library of sound are solitary and asocial."

    Here's a news flash for you all. Streaming isn't making people solitary and asocial. It's their damn phones. Even at the gym, in the weight room, there seems to be fewer and fewer of us who actually look around and appreciate our surroundings ready to engage in conversation with our fellow human beings. Most are whipping out their phones between sets. It drives me crazy. It seems they can't handle social interaction on any level. If any of you are here reading this, just know that I'm laughing at you internally.
  2. Sevoflurane

    Sevoflurane Forum Resident

    Strangely enough, the emergence of Spotify, Apple Music, Qobuz, Tidal and any other streaming service has not resulted in the wholesale disintegration of my CD collection, nor have my CD rips and other downloads vanished from my hard drive (and backups).

    I appear to be perfectly able to carry on as I did before with the added benefit of being able to choose to stream from a much larger library if I so choose. Are other people having a different experience to me?
    SteveCooks, wgriel, troggy and 7 others like this.
  3. tug_of_war

    tug_of_war Sassafras & Moonshine

    Those complaining that this is another "streaming is bad" thread didn't read the article.

    By the way, the headline says "streaming is killing the mainstream" not "is killing music".

    Don't be so lazy, c'mon.
  4. MielR


    Georgia, USA
    I don't stream...I don't even own a smartphone (intentionally, for many of the reasons Rich C stated above), but if I did start streaming, my CD and LP collection would remain intact. Streaming would only be a secondary, *(somewhat) convenience-based way to listen to music. My CD (and to an extent, LP) collection will ALWAYS be my main listening preference when I'm home.

    *When I was at my niece's house on Christmas day, there were a couple of Christmas songs we wanted to listen to, but couldn't, because they weren't available on the particular streaming service she subscribes to. I spent 20 minutes on her phone trying to figure out why the particular songs I was searching for wouldn't come up. VERY frustrating. If we had been at my house...we would have just popped in the CDs and not given it a second thought.
  5. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    I don't have an opinion about that and didn't express one which is why I wrote what I wrote...so that it was clear that on the subject of a monoculture...maybe the UK is (or isn't or was or wasn't) more or less of a monoculture, but that I was writing from a US POV. Certainly there are European nations that are closer to a monoculture than the US ever was. I'm not sure that's true of the UK given the history of immigration during the days of the empire at least. But my comment about the UK, US and monoculture had nothing in particular to do with The Beatles. The article is in a British paper written by a British writer, all I said was maybe the circumstances in Britain are different from those in the US.
  6. HotelYorba101

    HotelYorba101 Forum Resident

    I mean, how is this different than a vinyl collection or CD collection? I am just as social with my streaming selection as I ever was with my physical media collection - if anything I have been MORE social due to discovering bands due to streaming services and going to more concerts
    ARK and Jimmy B. like this.
  7. Jimmy B.

    Jimmy B. A music and film fan. ANTI-FASCIST.

    I love streaming.
  8. Octavia

    Octavia Forum Resident

    I had Spotify Premium for a year and found it great for accessing a massive library but I found myself rarely playing full albums and just cherry-picking tracks that I didn’t have in my collection. There was too much choice to focus on anything. In fact I much prefer now having the basic Amazon music app and playing albums in full when away from home (from a much smaller library) and making the most of my physical collection chez moi.
  9. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    Yes, for most streaming has replaced physical media in all forms.
  10. Linton S. Dawson

    Linton S. Dawson Lovely sort of deviant

    Moonbeam levels
    So the lightest stuff floats to the top, that's new.
  11. bosskeenneat

    bosskeenneat Forum Resident

    Some of you should go back into the archives of Billboard & Cashbox, back 100 plus years to watch the development of how musical presentation evolved, from vaudeville to radio to motion pictures to cylinders to 78 RPM to 33 RPM to 45 RPM to Stereo to Rock 'n Roll to compact disc to MTV. I'd be willing to bet the farm someone was screaming doomsday & the end times in each & every one of those cases.
    I-OD, Gumboo, ARK and 2 others like this.
  12. Kingsley Fats

    Kingsley Fats Forum Resident

    I thought it was the big chunks that float on top.
    melstapler likes this.
  13. Linton S. Dawson

    Linton S. Dawson Lovely sort of deviant

    Moonbeam levels
    If you mean "floaters" then yes. But they have to be light and frothy though

    douglas mcclenaghan likes this.
  14. eric777

    eric777 Astral Projectionist

    R.I.P. mainstream music. I guess now we will just have to find our own music to listen to rather then let the mainstream dictate that for us.
    rischa, melstapler, ted209 and 2 others like this.
  15. schnitzerphilip

    schnitzerphilip "Modern Dad" Unlocked Award

    NJ USA
    Same here.

    If they’d just accept the fact that here at this stage streaming is now an audiophile-level experience we wouldn’t have any animosity at all.
  16. Helter Skelter

    Helter Skelter Forum Resident

    I like streaming and I enjoy vinyl too.
    Being able to stick my headphones in when I'm out and about and listen to almost any song made in the last 100 years is great. Obviously it doesn't have the same "feel" as vinyl and doesn't offer the same experience sound wise, but that really doesn't matter to me when I just want to drown out the sound of crying kids on the train.
    BeatleJWOL and schnitzerphilip like this.
  17. schnitzerphilip

    schnitzerphilip "Modern Dad" Unlocked Award

    NJ USA
    That’s the fault of the artists, not the platform.

    It’s been 23 years since I’ve been stopped dead in my tracks by an album. Most of my favorite genres and artists are repetitive, same chords, same rhythms, they lost me at the 10th version of Losing My Religion and the 11th copy of Pride In The Name Of Love, just don’t want to hear them anymore.

    Streaming is cool because it takes all that boring artist sameness and makes it feel fresh.
  18. Hot Ptah

    Hot Ptah Forum Resident In Memoriam

    Kansas City, MO
    i read the article and thought it was dumb, to be as pithy as possible in my critical evaluation.

    Cable TV and VCRs killed the monoculture of home television viewing in the 1980s. Current streaming of shows did not do that.

    Also as one who lived through the mainstream monoculture of the 1960s and 1970s as to TV, it was not that good. The quality of many shows was medium to poor. What I find the current TV streaming has done is to make true excellence in programming much more widespread.

    Also the supposed common monoculture in music in the past was not my experience. In the 1960s and 1970s there were a great many people who liked musical artists unknown to the masses who listened to AM Top 40 hit radio. There was great fragmentation of the music audience in the 1960s and 1970s.

    To me the article is a writer describing his own personal experience as a universal experience, when that simply is untrue, and then throwing in streaming as a trendy target when streaming does not fit as the reason for what he is saying.
    SBurke, nosliw, ARK and 1 other person like this.
  19. altaeria

    altaeria Forum Resident

    This just dawned on me....
    Since everybody has succumbed to streaming-- If my neighbor is playing his music too loud, now all I have to do is figure out how to hack or somehow disable his internet connection. hmmm.....
    melstapler likes this.
  20. AlecA

    AlecA Forum Resident

    New Hampshire, USA
    Interesting that the article seems to say that having too much product available (he cites both TV and music) is what has killed the mainstream. What he doesn't say is that mainstream was always an artificial construct that only reflected and reinforced a version of life that was narrow in the extreme.

    Hot Ptah is right that Cable and VCRs in the 80s broke the logjam of limited mainstream. Does Simon Reynolds want to go back to the monopoly of 3 major networks and TV with 5 channels? Spinning the radio dial and hear the same top songs? Perhaps he thinks the supermarket has too many choices of paper towels.

    Yes, we are no longer watching the same TV shows or listening to the same music. We'll have to find other things to talk about and bond over.

    For me, the only part of the 'death of mainstream' that worries me is that we can now choose the 'news' and the 'facts' that fit our personal world view and beliefs.
    That is the tragedy of our time.
  21. TheSeldomSeenKid

    TheSeldomSeenKid Forum Resident

    I read that Bowie's 'Low', 'Heroes' & 'Lodger' were not Great selling Albums, coming off some of his more Commercial Sounding Albums. Imagine, if he was a New Music Artist(and alive) and released those Albums today? Would probably sell around 500 Copies for each Title. I know 'Blackstar' sold well, but assume most of it was after his Death, although he had a 50 Years Built in Fan Base by that Time(or in my case about 23 Years), so some of us were buying that Album on Release Date, but the point is that if a Music Artist like Bowie was just starting out the past 10 years, he/she would not have big sales(Nor many Streams per Song) if releasing an 'Experimental Album without Hooks on most of the Songs', as what Generation Y has the patience to listen to an Album like 'Low', 'Heroes' or'Lodger' today. 'Outside' was a less commercial Album, but I got into to it after buying it upon it's release, and gave it several listens to judge how much I liked that Album.

    Even my Number 1 Favorite Album of All Time, 'OK Computer' had their Music Label Reps asking "Where is the Hit Song?"(and this was in 1997 before even Downloading had started-think Napster started soon after though as a Free Peer to Peer File Sharing Service for Music). Thankfully, there are still some Music Artists, who can release their Art, and not be concerned with Sales or creating Songs with Hooks early on in the first 15-30 Seconds for the Streamers.

    Streaming is a great option to explore New Albums before committing to buying though(for my own purpose, but YMMV), no matter how much Time each Person dedicates to listening/exploring Music, what Type of Music Genre one's interest is in, or just for people, not wanting to clutter their lives with Physical Product and not concerned with Good Mastering and Dynamic Range.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
    I-OD and DEV.Woulf like this.
  22. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    I stream LOVING! :rolleyes::love:
  23. manco

    manco Forum Resident

    San Jose, CA
    Great, another article that makes me go: OK Boomer.

    IMHO, the real issue isn't streaming but bad music. If people used streaming services to discover the old great music that would be a great thing. Maybe they are doing it and it just isn't mainstream.
  24. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    I have been streaming for longer than most people here, starting in 2005 with Yahoo Music. I was championing streaming music long before most people had even looked into it and way long before things like Spotify existed.

    all that said, I do think we have a huge problem now with a move entirely away from monoculture or even narrow culture. There's too much music and no reliable gatekeepers. As a result a lot of good music goes unheard. But more importantly we, as a culture, are not developing any shared musical experiences or signposts. And with that music becomes far more disposable and ephemeral.
    melstapler likes this.
  25. Hot Ptah

    Hot Ptah Forum Resident In Memoriam

    Kansas City, MO
    I think that the entire premise that those who stream music have short attention spans, do not listen to entire albums, and need some massive impact in the first moments of a song, is incorrect.

    We all have only anecdotal information to draw on. I listen to entire albums when I stream, and many slow to develop songs. So do many people I know. Today on Spotify I listened to these entire albums: Lou Reed’s 1972 self-titled solo album, Lou Reed’s “New York,” Wishbone Ash’s “Argus,” Duke Ellington’s “And His Mother Called Him Bill.”
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