Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Sharing Music

Posted by kaufmansw on February 15, 2017

After reading the second part of chapter one of Spreadable Media, one quote that really stuck out to me was “Unlike underwear or swim suits, music falls into the category of things you are normally obligated to share with dorm mates, family, and friends.  After reading some of the other blog posts, this seems to be a popular quote.  I can actually see both sides of this argument quite clearly.  As a user, I feel as if I should be able to share my music with whoever I want.  Music brings people together and can used as a stress reliever.  On the other hand, as an artist, I would not want people using my music for free.  There’s a lot of time and effort artists put into to make a solid, finished product to be proud of for people to get it for free.

I found the sentence, “Though we realize gifts of the heart and labors of love, most gifts these days are manufactured and store bought,” quite interesting.  When Christmas time rolls around every year, I can count on getting handmade gifts from my grandparents.  Outside of my grandparents, I have never received a handmade gift.  I think this is due to social norms changing as the book stated.  Back in the day, people were more old- fashioned and took the approach of, “it’s the thought that counts.”  Nowadays it’s a, “let’s buy them a giftcard and they can buy whatever they want” or “buy whatever and if they don’t like it they can take it back and get whatever they want.”  We need to take a page of the old folks book when it comes to the genuineness of gift giving.


One Response to “Sharing Music”

  1. nathanpowers22 said

    Well, as the book also says, “nothing is ever free.” With the advent of streaming models in music employed by Spotify, Pandora, Soundcloud, and pretty much any other competitive service, music may be “free” to the user, but the artist still gets paid (however meager that sum may be). Unless you have a premium account, subscription, etc. to any of these services, you’ll always encounter ads, which of course helps pay the company that runs the streaming service and, by extension, the musician(s) hosting their content on that platform. Beyond that, the accessibility this affords to fans is arguably more beneficial to artists because they can generate a sort of grassroots movement based on word of mouth to bring their work into the mainstream. In my opinion, this would pay far greater dividends in the long run than nickel-and-diming streaming services for property rights when they’re still really indie/underground.

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