Originally posted by rccar328
I don't know that this is accurate, necessarily. However, when it comes to people who follow mainstream artists, a lot of sheep imagery comes to mind - the flock follows whatever artists the media is holding up at the time. I know quite a few people who used to listen to N*SYNC (gag me!), and at the time thought they were the greatest band in the world. Now, it's whoever else is popular - they never even put on an old album because it's simply not popular anymore.
In a way, this is why music on the internet is gaining such popularity - instead of going out and buying a cd, people can download whatever music is popular at the time. It's less of an investment than going out and buying the entire album, and it's not as permanent.
This is also tied in to both the age of the target audience and the power of marketing and exposure.
Kids around the age of ten will tend to want to like what others like (or the exact opposite) as part of fitting in. The current music indistry realises this and so they put a huge amount of hype into a select few bands (have them on kids shows, magazines, playing in schools) so the kids tend to like them as they are the only music they are exposed to. Then as the kids get older their tastes broaden and the marketing machine moves onto the next batch of kids.
My hope for online music distribution is that it will at least partly remove the harketing hype from the equation... thereby allowing users to be exposed to and try out a much wider range of music than they would normally get to hear.
If the software learns from my tastes and can suggest songs in the same genre, playlists by others who like the same sort of thing (like Amazon) and playlists by theme or mood then my music listening experience might end up a lot more like a web browsing experience, where you can sometimes go from site to site and end up somewhere you never thought you would go. And if i only have to pay a few cents to then try out these songs who knows what i might discover.
At the moment in the UK the entire UK chart is basically dictated by Radio 1, the only national "pop" radio station, and it's playlists. If it isn't mainstream and doesn't make it onto the radio 1 playlist then no one will hear it and no one will buy it. Ok, so most of them were rubbish, but at least when i was in the US or NZ they had a mass of independent radio stations and just by flicking through the stations you could hear a much wider range of stuff.