Pop stars don’t have much time for music anymore

One of the more thought-provoking things I read over the weekend was a New York Times article on how pop stars are so busy with things like social media and video they barely have time to devote to making music anymore.

This got me thinking: How is the Age of Infinite Distractions going to affect the long-term health of music?

Listeners have work, or school, or both, and work in the internet era has grown infinitely expandable past 9 to 5. Because so much music now arrives via streaming, controlled on a screen, music also has to share attention with everything else on that screen: texts, social media, videos, alerts, news feeds, games, searches, maps, maybe one more check on that work email. Perhaps some single-minded listeners can set all those distractions aside, but they’re a minority.

Musicians face countless distractions of their own. The internet shattered the old album cycle of studio seclusion (for audio recording, and then for audio plus video) followed by promotion and touring. That prospect seemed freeing at first, since music could appear when inspiration struck, in any grouping or length.

This whole thing is really worth reading.

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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