The way in which we consume our media today, in particular our music, has come along way. It has essentially evolved from being a monologic media, to a diologic media. Monologic media is where communication is only one way- from one to many people, where consumers are passive and gatekeepers control content, for example a newspaper (Moore 2014). Dialogic media is where content flows from many creators, or ‘prosumers’, to many viewers, with little or no control over what is shared, for example somebody’s blog (Moore 2014).
Music in the past was accessed mainly through the radio, where one person or a small group of people would control what music was played, when it was played, essentially where it could be accessed. It then evolved to being accessed through records, then cassette tapes, then CDs. This was still highly monologic as there was control over what music was sold in record stores, as well as restrictions still to how you access it; you had to have access the appliances to listen to them. Music today, with our ever-evolving internet, is extremely widely accessible and dialogic. The dynamic of consumers has evolved, they are considered now as being active rather than passive.
Spotify brings a lot to its audience. Like the change from vinyl to cassette or CD to MP3, Spotify represents another paradigm shift in the way we consume music (Nancarrow 2012). Instead of spending ‘many hours wandering the record store isles to find the newest Offspring album, or got a hold of our favourite zine to see what’s new’, you can simply search and listen to it on Spotify with a touch of a button (Muñoz). It is extremely flexible, and can be very ‘conversational’, or social in ways. It almost works as a blog for your music. You have a profile where other users can access your playlists and music that you like (if you want it to be public), as do artists with their music on it. You can follow artists, follow friends, and share music with people not only across Spotify but also across other social medias such as Facebook and twitter. This is an aspect of a dialogic media, where you have ‘access to a conversation’, and information is allowed to flow in more than one direction. Music and information is transferred from numerous prosumers to many viewers, although the music is not technically owned by any of these sharers. Nothing that you share is controlled or censored, and your rights are not particularly restricted within the application.
Moore, C 2014, BMC112 Audiences: power, access, and participation, 2014 lecture notes 2 April, University of Wollongong, Autumn semester, 2014.
Nancarrow, D 2012, Spotify: the evolution of music consumption, Brisbane times, viewed 6 April 2014, <http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/entertainment/music/spotify-the-evolution-of-music-consumption-20120523-1z4k6.html#ixzz2yC3PCbXI>
Muñoz, M, The changing face of music consumption, Herd, viewed 6 April 2014, <http://www.herdmag.ca/the-changing-face-of-music-consumption/#sthash.y182keRL.dpuf>
Spotify– the story 2010, online video, 30 November, Youtube, viewed 7 April 2014, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-p_2GRt_eQ>
Spotify. The soundtrack to your social life 2011, online video, 21 September, Youtube, viewed 7 April 2014, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjAr5nGzjV8>