It is at this stage we start to see the core of the problem.  The short head will always dominate the long tail, but no more so than when the genuine long tail (the experimental artists, the up and coming, the niche genres) gets drowned out by the pseudo long tail of karaoke and 3rd rate covers. Discovery in the long tail is already a potentially market-crippling problem.  It is time for music services to stand up and be (down) counted.  16.4 million songs means nothing if the vast majority is useless filler.

The problem of filler on streaming services. I’m not convinced this is as huge a problem as the blogger thinks it is - “drowning out” is harder in a search-based environment. He’s right that discovery is a big problem but social tools should route round the spam cover problem quite effectively. As “Clive” in the comments suggests, the real issue is the VAST amount of released music that doesn’t end up on Spotify et al.

The infinity of quickie covers and “Coldplay Do Yoga” type compilations do make streaming services look tacky, though.


  1. sexshooter reblogged this from tomewing and added:
    there’s virtually no boyzone songs (don’t ask) on american spotify but there are plenty of songs “done in the style of”...
  2. tomewing posted this