Streaming playlists have already destroyed mixtapes and burned CDs. Are music blogs next?

OLD WAY: Recording mixtapes on cassette/burning custom CD-Rs/dragging and dropping digital files into playlists on iTunes.

NEW WAY: Streaming playlists, either ones you create on your own or sample from a streaming music service. (Hint: Spotify alone has at least 2 billion playlists and 5 million are created and/or edited every day.)

OLD WAY: Music blogs that make recommendations on music.

NEW WAY: Streaming playlists, recommendations without the boring text stuff.

In fact, these playlists might actually be a threat to certain types of music-based blogs. Hypebot explains.

Major streaming platforms are irrevocably changing the ways people create, discover and consume music. As with any emerging, disruptive technology, there are winners and losers. Though musicians, labels, and publishers initially despised streaming giants like Spotify, the industry has now been forced to lovingly embrace them, along with the focus on singles and playlists they’ve brought to the music business.

But while 2017 was largely viewed as the year of the music industry’s long-awaited comeback, some segments of the industry might not fare as well as others in a world increasingly turning to streaming platforms for music discovery.

Human tastemakers at blogs large and small have been setting trends and shedding light on undiscovered musical talent since the dawn of the internet. Music fans rely on these outlets for everything from thoughtful long-form analyses of music trends to witty, well-researched, and personally-crafted album reviews and video premieres, all with the altruistic goal of ushering compelling new music into the popular consciousness.

The tasteful vetting of the blogosphere has launched and sustained the careers of so many independent artists and bands, it’s impossible to keep count. But streaming services are now building algorithms and tools to help music fans connect with new music more quickly and efficiently, in an effort to maximize the time users listen. The shift has put the humble music blog at risk of going extinct, and of losing the influence they’ve enjoyed for so long.

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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