Has rock benefited from the rise of streaming? (Spoiler: No.)

Streaming is changing everything about the way music is distributed and consumed.

I find this new psychology of music fans fascinating because streaming shows what happens when everyone has complete autonomy to choose from a near-infinite amount of music. Radio, video channels, music mags, record stores–all the old cultural gatekeepers have been disintermediated.

So left to their own devices, what will the music fans of the world choose to listen to?

At this point, the big genre winners are hip-hop, Latin pop and metal. The losers? Rock, country and pop. The Chicago Tribune takes a deeper look.

Streaming services are the dominant way for fans to consume music, and industry leader Spotify began trading on the New York Stock Exchange, with an initial valuation of nearly $30 billion. The success of streaming has upended lots of conventional wisdom in the music industry: the need for physical product, the dominance of superstars, the boundaries between genres, between old and new music.

Streaming services are changing how we listen to music, but they’re also changing what we listen to. Thanks to streaming, sad rap is king, ’80s-style “Stranger Things” playlists are everywhere and Ed Sheeran is the biggest pop star in the world and not just a friend of Taylor Swift who seems like a nice guy.

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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