Wednesday, November 27, 2013

YouTube replaced the underground market


Be forewarned, the Bear and the Hare makes me cry every time I see it.

YouTube has really changed the world. I remember when I was younger the underground market that existed in order to get music from other countries and videos traded on message boards and mixtapes. With YouTube, two clicks later and I've got the UK only John Lewis advertisement with the exclusive Lilly Allen song. Kids these days don't have much resistance or trouble getting just about anything they want these days and I have to wonder if its part of what's behind the change in attitude that they have - they're used to having the world at their fingertips, so they think differently about it than those of us who had to painstakingly search out and create content of our favorite artists if they weren't on the top 40. In fact, in reading the comments on YouTube videos for Lorde, I'm beginning to think that a lot of people don't like her concepts and her music because she's from this new generation that can create an underground vibe and simultaneously be EVERYWHERE.

Generations interacting together = conflict, I guess. In thinking about tomorrow (today's Thanksgiving Eve here in the US), I guess I feel like the Internet should have brought people together because you can find more people everywhere who like and want the same things, whether they be 10 or 100 and located in the back 40 in Arkansas or the uber-hip Tokyo neighborhood Harajuku. And it seems like more people agree with me than don't - check out this quote from Geekscape article "Death of a Local Record Store" in talking about having conversations about great employees with music knowledge and passion:

"As much as we like to say that the internet has brought the world closer together (and I believe that it has in some ways), we’ll never get this kind of true interaction here. Not really. Sure, there are plenty of music websites that sort of do it, but not with personality or, well, ANYthing but clicks and links. All we will truly ever get from a website is a call and response sort of “If…then…” statement."

That's how I feel. Like we're not really interacting with people as well as we could using the Internet and I miss the spontaneous "I threw this tape in the swap package because if you like Sneaker Pimps, you'll probably like Smoke City too". YouTube comes the closest to this idea with its "recommended" section, but if you get a few million people who randomly wander the YouTube, your recommendations will be influenced by screwy stuff. (Ever watch pimple extraction? Strange, gross, yet can't-look-away kind of video that can be strangely satisfying to watch without having to squeeze your own). Facebook helps too because it helps you keep in contact with people, but ... not quite either. I always go back to YouTube. And now that the comments are from real people and not just "Ilikemusic656785", you can find real friends to chat with regularly, and make real interaction happen via Google Hangouts, Skype, and other internet video tools.

Thanks YouTube for changing the music world. Its not perfect, but its way easier to use than the old days!
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