Streaming music is garbage. It is, and I’m not sorry to say it.
I could name a bunch of examples like the encoding and download quality of what listeners are receiving. The tiered system of streaming quality that resembles an anti-Net Neutrality stance for the industry at large. The ability, or inability, to get back to music you’ve already discovered. How browsing isn’t truly browsing if it’s ‘curated’. A giant, multi-billion dollar industry’s unwillingness to get their sh*t together and adequately pay the people that create the thing that allows their meta-data-mining business model to exist. The inability of having control of your own music collection, say if some artist you like signs a new record/distribution deal and so one of the greatest albums they’ve ever created gets scrubbed from the one streaming service you subscribe to so you have to go to YouTube and listen to it via some asshole/Russian bot that uploaded it illegally using a VPN, thereby also breaking the copyright of the artist that created the album cover. Looking at you, Donny McCaslin’s “Fast Future”… (jk, sort of. It’s on Bandcamp for purchase.)
Being an artist today means coming to grips with the effect streaming services, social media, and video have on your bottom line, but more importantly, the fate of what you’ve created. There are so many things I wish Spotify did BETTER, which I will get to in another post here soon. Before that however, I want to spotlight some of the things I’ve found in how streaming services work and, in general, fall short.
The following are a few videos of varying length, but important and necessary in understanding the struggle between those that create things and those that create an infrastructure for consuming those creations. It also covers a lot about licensing and the programming and tagging involved in digital music that I just didn’t know. I’ve also included the much longer, multi-part series below this first video. Enjoy?