- Listen: Alan Cross on Streaming and the Music Business 31:57
I argue that there have been three major breakthroughs in popular music technology, each with their unique incremental steps. Broadly, they are transmitting music over the air, making music portable and making individual songs available. The third is streaming.
The Daily Music Break had the opportunity to chat with music commentator and analyst Alan Cross recently about how streaming, which of course more or less defines the third category, has changed the business. The conversation stands on its own, but the questions were based on a recent edition of his “The Ongoing History of New Music” podcast entitled “Trying to be a Superstar in the 21st Century” (here it is at Spotify). I highly recommend the podcast, which can be at all the usual podcast hangouts and through Alan’s blog, A Journal of Musical Things. Alan combines deep knowledge with insightful analysis.
The bottom line is that streaming brought ubiquitous, structural change to the industry. It has transformed how creativity is expressed, the ground rules controlling how artists are compensated, how music is consumed and more or less eliminated production and distribution costs. Each of these changes are important. Taken together, they are transformational.
Alan, who explains it all well, is a busy man. “The Ongoing History of New Music” also appears as a radio show – expanded with music — on various radio stations across North America. In addition, he has an hour-long show weeknights at 7 PM ET on 102.1 The Edge in Toronto. Alan runs another podcasts, “Beats and Geeks,” which focuses on music and technology. More information about him, links to his various endeavors as well as music news and analysis can be found at A Journal of Musical Things.