If there’s one thing we can be certain of is that music is always evolving. The sound, instruments, technology, style, and the people that are on the front stage of the music industry – Every element of music is always changing and evolving. But most importantly, the way we consume music is also changing, to another new direction. Two of the most notable developments in the way we consume music over the last years are playlists and earphones.
Music playlists – what’s the big deal?
If you are a music explorer, you cannot ignore music playlists on social music platforms like YouTube, Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, etc. Even though we all probably miss listening to Nirvana’s Nevermind album or Radiohead’s OK Computer for the first time, there’s still something different in a playlist. It creates new genres and is strongly based on a certain vibe. Some of the most notable and popular new genres include lofi, jazz hop, neo-soul beats, trip-hop, downtempo, boom bap, etc. But not only that, you have thousands of playlists online on various social music platforms for any type of genre and for every type of mood.
In a way, music playlists are not that different than radio. But, there’s a huge difference in the sense that you can choose the mood, genre, vibe, etc. With these playlists, the experience of listening to music is somehow more diverse and personal. YouTube, for example, is booming with music playlists and its AI engine knows how to identify the user’s preferences. Spotify, much like Deezer and Apple Music, makes things a bit more glamorous with a specific focus on genre, or vibe.
And, for artists, there’s no longer a need to create an album. Instead, they create one single or several tracks/songs with the intention to get into one of the biggest playlists.
So, the bottom line, we are going to see lots of music playlists in the future, and it might even become a profession – music playlist maker.
How earphones are changing music?
Earphones have been in existence for quite some time, but, only in the past decade or two, they became accessible to the mass, and consequently, this is the main form in which people listen to music. Obviously, headphones are not only changing the way music is being listened to but also the way musicians recorded, mix and master their tracks.
As a matter of fact, some artists even make music with a note to listen to a certain track with headphones. For example, this track by Billie Eilish sounds amazing with headphones:
Finally, when we combine playlists and the experience of listening to music with headphones, you’ll find lots of playlists and YouTube that were designed for headphones.
If you are interested in reading more about the impact of headphones on the sound of music as well as the production, you can read this article.
The bottom line
So, the bottom line – playlists are a big thing in the way we consume music these days. And when we look ahead, the status of playlists is even more certain than the status of albums in the past – they simply are not going to disappear. As for headphones – the same song different sound. This is what’s all about.