Music Curation is the Answer, Right? Right?

There is just too much music. Someone or something has to help us sort through all the crap, the stuff we don’t care about and the stuff we won’t like to help organize our music discovery and music listening experience.

I believe so much in the future of music curation that I work for Songza, helping to create and shepherd playlists for the services millions of users.

But then there’s Mike Spinelli, a third-year law student at Quinnipiac University School of Law. Here’s what he had to say in a guest post at RAIN.

In a recent interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook dubbed Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre “creative geniuses.” The justification Cook gave for acquiring Beats for $3 billion was the recognition that “human curation was important in the subscription service – that the sequencing of songs that you listen to affect how you feel.” Given the questionable activity level of Beats users, seen in a leaked royalty statement this past summer, human-curated playlist are not where streaming services are headed.Today’s music “consumers,” and I use that term loosely, live in the age of individuality. We all expect to hear what we want, exactly when we want to hear it. Do you want to go back to (or start in some cases) listening to cassettes? We all have become accustomed to being able to call up any sort of content on-demand. It’s not surprising that terrestrial radio is running into trouble with today’s listeners. “The savior of radio” Norm Pattiz is even calling for the shift of radio stations to adopt an on-demand format.

A playlist created by a superstar (or anyone for that matter) is not what a listener wants to put on when they log into a streaming service. Yes, Iovine and Dre were onto something when they built a service around feelings. Yes, we enjoy listening to songs that fit our mood. However, take a step back and determine what makes a song “happy”? It’s neat that Beats gives the user the ability to hear songs according to a Mad Libs-type sentence that you fill out. However, this is just a novelty at best.

Read the whole article here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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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