I’ve always been really good at predicting digital and cultural trends. So much so that I’ve made my living doing it for most of the last decade. But even I have my biases. I was such a music snob and loved owning music that I couldn’t imagine not ever buying albums.
I remember back in 2005 I read this book, The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution and thinking the authors were completely insane. They were talking about paying for streaming music like a utility, that we’d quit “owning” music and stop buying albums and would instead pay monthly fees to access unlimited music. I thought it was the stupidest thing I’d ever heard. It turned out to be the biggest trend I’ve ever completely missed.
Streaming, an interactive report from Pitchfork, tells the next phase of the story.
From YouTube, to Pandora, to Spotify, streaming music is piloting our listening habits in fascinating new ways that both upend old hierarchies and recall innovations of previous eras. Eric Harvey explores how these developments are affecting ideas of taste, access, and ownership today—and what this shift means for fans and artists alike—in our latest Cover Story.