The music experience has changed. I was grocery shopping this past weekend, and while going up and down the aisles I had a weird flash back to the idea of ‘shopping for music.’ I’ve consumed music in so many ways:
- Traditional Music Store: heading to an HMV, Tower Records, Sam the Record Man, or whatever…all new CDs, a wall with the latest new releases organized by chart position, genres galore (the most popular currently with a big section, plus a massive rock/pop area)…
- Traditional Used CD Store: you never know what you’ll get, if you’re lucky organized by genre but sometimes in a ‘SURPRISE’ bin where awesome discoveries are made
- Record Store: Flippin’ through vinyl, often decisions are made by how cool the cover art is or by the uniqueness of the name
- Online Digital Downloads: from iTunes to Bandcamp, flip through artists over the net, sample the album, and grab for free or for a price
- Radio: Flip through stations, hear classic hits and new tunes
- YouTube: I mostly discover remixes or clever covers this way, or (as I do with this blog) it’s a way to introduce someone to a new artist or song without having to own the mp3
- Stage Side: Grab the CD at a show…I did this with pre-Dogs Eye View Peter Stewart at a Tori Amos show, or more recently with Donovan Woods opening for Tunng in Toronto
- Television and Movies: Watched Grey’s Anatomy? Scott Pilgrim vs The World? There’s a whole new way of discovering awesome music.
Gradually, the traditional shopping and consuming experiences are disappearing, replaced by digital download cards, The Pirate Bay, placement in commercials, or nothing.
What is the future of music consumption? So much is dependent on friend suggestions, on word of mouth, on random discovery. How many new artists have you discovered through radio? Or does radio seem to be playing catchup with the buzz bands we’ve already been listening to for years? Have you visited a record store recently, or caught a random show by a random band?
How do you experience ‘music browsing’ nowadays? …I’m asking! I’d actually be interested in your comments, starting with telling me how you used to consume and shop, and how you do it now. I have friends who joined the CD revolution as it was dying off and only really know music as a free online download…others started with vinyl and wish it never changed.
Please let me know! I’d like to do a full report sometime soon so we can see how things used to be, how things are now, and hopefully…predict how we’ll browse and consume music in the next few years!