The Washington Post has taken a comprehensive look at how the internet, bloggers and playlisting is changing the way people discover music and the new life that the net is giving to old music catalogs.
"Because the Internet has changed how people discover and share music, the rules of marketing it and the hierarchy of who determines what's hot have also changed. As radio-music listenership declines, the industry finds itself spending more time courting a broader field of tastemakers who, through Web sites, are popularizing songs that never get radio play. The primary tool in this transition is the playlist -- a sequence of tracks posted on blogs or shared on music purchase sites such as iTunes."
"...Digital music services themselves (also) have become engines of recommendation. Music stores such as iTunes, EMusic, and Yahoo Music give users the ability to check out others' playlists, so people with similar tastes can find each other and discover new music. Additionally, services such as Rhapsody, Napster, Livefm, Pandora, AOL and Yahoo all have Internet-radio options with algorithms that register a person's taste and, based on the listeners preference, stream in similar, new music..."
And it's effect indie retail. "...a customer recently came in asking for an album from an indie-rock band he'd never heard of -- Neutral Milk Hotel -- which had become popular online. Since then, he's Orpheus in Arlington, VA) sold roughly 30 of those albums."
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