The Evolution of Music Listening

Music is an important part of anyone’s life no matter where or who you are. It is what can heighten any experience and bring people together. To think about how simple chords strung together can take you back to any part of your life is such a beautiful part of the human experience. It’s you belting out lyrics with your friends on long road trips, it’s the night your crush asked you out, it’s your wedding day. To think of how many ways we have progressed in what ways we listen to music and how we share it is as equally interesting. What I mean by the ways we listen to music is the progression of technology and how it has directly affected our consumption of content. 

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Throughout history we see this development first through the introduction of the radio and all the way to now with the launching of streaming services. Streaming services like Spotify and Apple has forever impacted the way we now listen to music. It used to be going out and buying actual copies of artist CD’s one at a time, but now one has access to virtually all artists on the tip of their fingertips. In addition, the development of social media platforms has also facilitated this new generation of musicians to grow independently on a massive scale. The question that comes into play when conceptualizing this phenomenon is if this has a negative effect on the music industry, music marketers, and music consumers. Some might say it tarnishes the consumers experience with not getting to connect with an artist as much as before because of the saturation of content being pushed out. People might also go on to add that since anyone can put music out it also takes away from true artistry of music itself now that music making is so accessible. Due to personal experience I would find this to be completely not true. At times, maybe, I have felt overwhelmed by the many options accessible to me, but I’ve never felt less connected to an artist’s songs due to the sole fact of listening to other artists I also enjoy. As far as artistry goes, I think it has pushed artists to actually strive to be the best quality. There is more room to take experimental risks that have resulted in rich sound and changed the music experience to a diverse one with new genres like neo-soul and bedroom pop. 

In this article by Kate Franklin, Social Media is Revolutionizing the Music Industry, I think she highlights perfectly the marketing potential modern music now has.  She describes social media as a disruption in the music industry, and a good one at that, because now the previous simplicity of having an artist and then them being signed to the label and both getting money has changed. Before, the success of an artist was shown through merely ticket and record sales. With these new platforms there is an open window for the music business to have a more intimate connection with listeners. The buzz around a new album and what one thinks about it is available for companies to witness and track makes it easier to know what the consumer likes and what they don’t. To counteract the before mentioned lack of intimacy between the artist and their fanbase, one can see how more interactive it has become. The artist is able to see who exactly listens to them and the listener gets to see the artist in a more personal way. Music has become an intrinsic part of socialization more than ever. These new developments only create more opportunity to everyone involved and it makes me excited to see what is in store for all genres across the board.