Streaming’s Effect

There is no way that we can turn back from Spotify and Youtube. That is impossible and millions of music enthusiasts, present party included, would disagree with their banishment.

Yet the very nature of this relatively new media is not discussed. Sure, the financial matters in regards to artist compensation are talked about, but subtleties still remain untouched. This new streaming media affects the way we listen to, perceive, and present music.

For one this kind of media thrives on isolated stand alone bits of music: songs are taken from their original context of an album and placed along with other orphaned songs in a playlist or video queue.

In another sense, music is dissolved into what Andre Malraux called style: musical distinctions stripped of their original context. One can look up classical music now with only a sense of sound, not of historical setting or time period, and get a Pandora station that will give one a vague incomplete idea of what classical music is.

Streaming media is the next step in music consumption. These means of consumption not only affect distribution but the way we perform, present, and listen to music. Take music videos for instance. They presented artists with even more pressure on self image and gave listeners a new wrinkle in the package of music: visuals.

More still remains to be discussed and that is the point. Streaming media implies its own ideologies for musician and listener alike. The nature of these ideologies must be examined. For music’s sake.


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