Amazon’s new radio app could a nice twist on a historic industry
How “lateral thinking with withered technology” works in reimagining music streaming
It’s been some time now since Amazon announced their “Amp” app.
While I don’t think the name is necessarily good, the concept is gold.
Terrestrial radio still holds great power, as it still reaches most people and decides what the music industry focuses on.
While listenership to terrestrial radio is declining, Pew Research says 83% of people in 2020 still listen to the radio.
What’s that mean?
Well, it certainly guarantees that this has lasting impacting on the norms and tastes of music listeners.
Radio is not good at identifying and delivering fresh sounds well, for this reason.
This is why we get shows like Songland or American Song Contest that seem to suggest fresh and original music, but are really all about identifying musical acts that walk the tightrope of taste.
The TV dimension of music is a different rabbit hole, but I will stand strong here for the greatness of niche music.
It is the niche that informs the cultural mainstay, after all.
A great musical example of this is Olivia Rodrigo forerunning a revival of pop punk.
Radio has been shifting for years now, as streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music have gained their foothold in the music market.
I find myself writing about country music a surprising amount, even though it is tied with big band/classic pop as my favorite genre of music.
Country is the biggest radio broadcast genre.
But diehard fans certainly know the history of the genre for being a tug-of-war between traditionalists seeking the soul of country music and the industry trying to veer it off course towards another destination like the Nashville Sound or bro country.
Music streaming changes all this.
I can listen to as many songs featuring lap steels or autoharps as I want.