Fifty-million streaming apps
Yesterday, I sat down to watch Strangeways Radio’s Week in Music video, hosted by our very own Jason Lent (VelvetRebel). If you missed it – you can catch it on our homepage, or right here. I love that it’s a quick wrap-up of what happened in the world of music for the week. I’m lucky to have five uninterrupted minutes to myself, so this short program fits the bill!
As I watched, Jason pointed out a couple of new albums that are out by The Chromatics and The Pixies, and even played a little snippet from each. While I’ve heard of both bands (more so Pixies that Chromatics), I never paid close attention to either of them, but I liked the new songs played, each for very different reasons. I made mental note to search for the new music on Spotify or the other 50 million music streaming apps that seem to be out these days. For me, it’s all a little overwhelming.
I’m lazy and admit it!
I don’t know what it is with me, but over the past five years or so, I don’t bother seeking out new music nearly as often. Complacency is comfortable, I suppose, but it’s also limiting. I listen to what Walt has collected over the years on vinyl, channels I enjoy on SiriusXM or traditional radio, and that’s about it. Finding new bands requires dedicated time and effort that I just don’t have to offer.
Cognitively, I understand that listening to First Wave, or even my local radio station – I’m not likely to hear “new” music, even if it comes directly from one of the artists played on First Wave (in case you’re not familiar, the station focus on New Wave music from the 80s). The problem is, I’m lazy. Plain and simple. I don’t have hours to sit around clicking endlessly to find new music and/or new artists I like, much less time to actually listen. While Walt and I still see bands fairly often – most of them are cover bands, not playing original material.
When I think about it, I don’t know that I was ever one of those people to work hard to seek out new music. I’d watch MTV, read the occasional magazine or hear things on the radio and go from there. Today, it’s similar, except MTV is no longer the same, and since I listen to First Wave when I’m in the car (which truly isn’t all that often now – my comments are less than 10 minutes these days!), I’m not exposed to much. I’m guessing that I’m not the only one in that camp.
How do bands manage the tsunami?
On the other hand, I have friends who seem to know all the new albums, new bands, new music. This is why I appreciate Jason’s work, both here and on Strangeways Radio – he does my a lot of my homework for me. Now all I have to do is go to a streaming service, or purchase the music and listen. I value their time and tenacity, because honestly – I don’t have the patience to do it myself!
As I was considering all of the above, I realized that my own quandary is exactly the same sort of tsunami that bands like Duran Duran are fighting to survive each day. Can you imagine trying to get a new album played on the radio these days? I can’t speak for the rest of the country, but there’s not even a station in my area that I could for sure say would play (new) Duran Duran. Again, I’m betting I’m not alone.
When I post statements about radio, there’s always someone who pipes up, saying that radio doesn’t matter anyway. Maybe not, but then what? Internet radio? Streaming? Great, except that it’s not enough to just throw a new album up on a streaming service and cross fingers for luck. How do you attract listeners and grow your audience at this point? Unless you’re already following Duran Duran, or they get extremely lucky with just the right song placed in just the right place…how does it work?
How do you do it?
All of this did get me wondering though, how do other music fans my age do it? Do they still try to keep up with what is new, or are many beginning to settle back with music they already know and love? Where does the good music news come from? Drop me a line and let me know!