We are happy having our food, drink and music delivered to us in the most convenient fashion possible. If home shopping is more affordable that going to the grocery store, we get it delivered. There’s no benefit to actually getting the food off the shelf yourself. Driving to the supermarket, parking the car and leaving with the groceries doesn’t make dinner taste any better. This is one end of the spectrum: convenience.
Yet we all accept that craft brewing results in smaller batches of more tasty and generally better beer than mass-produced beer. Once we’ve gotten over the difficulty in acquiring it, we agree that the hand-cranked option tastes better. This is the other end of the spectrum: predilection.
Streaming music on YouTube or Spotify offers us the same set of choices.
On one end: accepting the automatic suggestions of the algorithm
On the other: frequently diverting our attention to the playback mechanism in order to more carefully curate our choices, based on what we actually prefer.
By allowing the algorithm to dictate demand, we empower it to make our music for us. The result is an erosion of pure human culture.
By saying ‘no’ to the convenience of auto-suggestion, we demand that the algorithm dig deeper and reward ever-more obscure musicians in order to satisfy our tastes.
And, lest we forget: unlike grocery shopping, music is about connection with people.