A personal recount of a life within Berlin, Venice and the EU

Friday, September 07, 2012

My thoughts on the spotification of music listening: a bad thing for us all

The idea looks simple and sounds catchy: get on board with us, share your tastes, activities, photos and so on (music) and you will be by default be considered cooler, reach a higher stand in front of your (digitally speaking) friends and (for the few ranking high on Klout) subscribers. The content of these possible great achievements is taken for granted by those offering you their platform (only if not respectful, will it be questioned and eventually erased), shared by those interested in it, ignored by the most, either since they don´t agree or don't care. The drive for getting some digital reward makes us focus on one cool something, on looking for a catchy phrase and/or motive, on sharing a overwhelmingly colorful pic so that the other express their acknowledgment of our digital worthiness. This spiral of expiring moments of "kloutness" (neul.) is bad for arts, for ideas, for exchange and, to me currently the dearest thing, to music. We people living in GErMAny were very happy to have finally access to Spotify early this year, after all our Scandinavian friends dragged (sic) about it for years. But, dear fellows, is Spotify or are its copycats and very similar contenders so cool? …. Really?! We focus on catchy gingles more than we had already done before, we are constantly asked to make a playlist out of songs we listen to (most of the time not halfway through the track anyway) and we are finally rather unspectacularly made into sharing this bunch of stuff socially. But where does the music stay in this equation? Where is the drive (again) of taking some "quality" time with ourselves and listen a damn song from 0´00´´to 4´55´´and maybe consider it as part of an artistic creation (that old fashioned thing called album), put into a chronological order as thought by it composers and its producers? There is no way Spotify & friends can possibly come out as the advocates of music and the artists behind it. But they want you to believe so. They want you to tell them as fast as possible which song would be the catchiest, so that somebody may use that information to sell even more of the same crap. They do not reward artists directly (they admit so) and could not care less how this happens. We need to move away from a business model where the medium of sharing content becomes the thing counting the most and where the content slowly disappears and becomes cool only if shared and not on its own merit. A great antidote are all those album streaming chances you can enjoy lately: serious portals made by awesome journalists, music lovers and great people who make an album available online in its whole for a while. They ask for your best asset actually, so you should watch out: your attention and passion for stuff, your curiosity and love for new artistic creations. More of NPR and Guardian and so on then, please, and let Spotify go to hell and survive thanks to those geeky and massified nerds, who would listen to MTV crap over their overpriced smartphones anyway.

1 comment:

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