The paradox of the Spotify experience is that while it enables listeners to tumble down their own personal niche rabbithole, it’s also geared towards casual, passive listeners. The front page is dominated by pre-existing playlists; the weekly pre-eminence of New Music Friday emphasises the imperative to stay up-to-date with what’s popular (or, rather, what Spotify has determined will be popular).
Active choices – to listen to a particular album, for instance – morph into passive listening, as the default setting is for algorithms to automatically choose what you listen to next rather than the music stopping.
“Centralised influences and centralised incentive models … create boring ass music. It creates boring ass culture,”