In yesterday’s Bulletin, we wrote about an opinion piece in the New York Times suggesting that streaming music is leaving self-confessed “music snobs” adrift, because now everyone has access to the same music collection. “When getting into a band became as easy as typing its name into a search box, particular musical tastes lost their function as signifiers of commitment,” suggested journalist Dan Brooks. Yesterday, we published our response: “While we all share the same record collection now, that doesn’t mean we know how to find our way through it… So yes, anyone can use Spotify and follow knowledgeably-compiled playlists on (for example) underground dubstep or math-rock or witch-hop or whatever you like. Anyone can read about a new band online and instantly listen to everything they’ve ever released. And yet… there’s still value – a social currency – in being the source of those playlists or recommendations.” We also noted that the signifier of commitment is now not what you’ve bought, but what you actually listen to, and suggested that Bandcamp is just one example of the kind of “robust system for identifying kindred spirits” that Brooks worries has died out. But read the full piece and let us know what you think.

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