An article over at Ars has this to say about music in general
“The accessibility of music has meant that it is taken for granted and does not require a deep emotional commitment once associated with music appreciation,” said music psychologist Adrian North.
The study concluded that because of a greater than ever level of accessibility to music (including legal and illegal downloading, Internet broadcasts, and MP3 players), people in general had a more apathetic attitude towards music appreciation.
The only part of this that I can agree with is the easy accessibility of music but I don’t think that’s the root cause of our apathy towards it. Think back prior to the late 1990’s. My favorite bands would have singles on the radio or on MTV. If I liked that particular single, I had to purchase the entire cassette or album, just to get that one song. It was a very rare occurence that I would listen to an entire cassette or album of even my most revered bands. The record companies could give a shit less, whether you listened to the entire album. No, what they were more concerned with is that you purchased the entire album…even if it was for just one song. They measured success by the number of albums sold.
Since the late 1990’s, we’ve had relatively easy access to single songs. We don’t have to purchase an entire album for that one song. I’m sure that this also translates into less people falling in love with a group and more people falling in love with single songs. We’ve gone from group focus to song focus….which could also be misinterpreted as apathy…
Let’s face it, the artists and the record companies would much rather have you spend $16.99 on an entire CD instead of $.99 on one song. It’s like having to purchase the entire car when all you want are it’s new tires…..