People listen to music for a variety of reasons. Some listen to music to relax in which it serves as a sort of escape from everyday life, some because they are a fan and follow a certain artist, and others because they can relate the lyrics to their own personal experiences. Whichever the case may be, music has and continues to serve an important role in people’s lives.
Music has been circulating the air across many cultures for centuries; however, in the last 50 years, the music industry has become an important global industry and an vital area for economic activity on many geographic scales (comp. 45). Over the years, music consumption has grown and spread across many areas. Music consumption has become “more of less.” This contradictory idea alludes to the fact that individuals are listening to music of many different artists rather than to an entire album by a singular artist. This causes people’s music collection to become more diversified.
Likewise, more people are listening to music because it has become so accessible. Technology has undoubtedly changed the music industry and is perhaps the main reason why individuals no longer consume an entire album. Previously, people were required to buy an entire album or CD even if they only wanted a few specific songs. With new technological advancements, music consumption has become more fragmented. Individuals can instead purchase their favorite song by each artist while eliminating all others from their collection. Due to technological advancements such as the Internet, there is now a wider variety of music because a greater diversity is more accessible. An individual no longer has to leave his house and drive down the street to a store to purchase music. Instead, he can sit at home or in his office and download his favorite tune with a few clicks of his computer or mobile device. The consumer also has the ability to listen to music without purchasing it. Today, individuals can do this by using online host sites such as Pandora and YouTube.
Ultimately, technology is linked to the long tail theory. While this is a heavily debated topic of whether the long tail is in fact truly favored or not, one thing is for certain; the long tail definitely exists. Online sharing and purchasing has become a whole new economic model for the media. The long tail theory allows for not only the hits, but rather all music, to be used, followed and appreciated through digital media. An article by Chris Anderson states that people are willing to go deep, well past the long list of popular titles available at such record stores. He adds, the more they find the more they like (comp. 360). These online sources are allowing people to discover that their interest in music may not be as mainstream as they once thought. This theory demonstrates that popular culture is not all about the hits. Alternatively, it is about the long tail. It is the want and need for everything else. Anderson reiterates,...