Music in the digital age

About 2 months ago I finally installed Spotify and it really changed the way I consume music since then. Before I considered myself a ‘careful’ listener, one who tends to focus on the music itself, takes time to analyze it. What’s more, the investment in a physical piece – the CD – not only needed a reasonable decision, it also established a deeper connection to the artist.

Now the sheer endless repository of streaming providers like Spotify and Rdio open a whole new dimension to the music consumption aspect. You no longer need to think about your choice, everything is available within a click. While this has definitely its advantages – discovering new music and artists is definitely the biggest one – I’m not sure what that means for the user’s connection to the artists itself.

But I’m not alone. Recently many people thought about this evolution and what it means to us personally and to the music industry in general. I’d like to quote Rob Weychert who sums up his view quite nicely:

I think the concept of investment is at the core of this issue. When I buy an album, I’ll make an effort to enjoy it for the sake of my investment, even if I don’t immediately like it. I spent money on it, it’s taking up space on my hard drive and/or shelf, and I want that to count for something. But subscribing to Rdio is a different kind of investment. Rather than investing in one album, I’ve invested in all the albums, which is the same as investing in none of them.

I would recommend these extensive views on digital music consumption which add some other aspects to my statement: