Facebook Takes News Out Of The News Feed

“Facebook to Change News Feed to Focus on Friends and Family”

And the music business loses out again. So worried about being ripped off, making a third party the new MTV, allowing that entity to profit, the industry requires a huge toll to innovate with its wares, as a result, most techies have abandoned the sphere.

Turns out people don’t want top-down information, they’d rather hear from their friends. Not only about what they’re doing in their life, but what music they’re listening to. And sure, they do this on Facebook, and sure, you can link your Facebook account to Spotify, you can see what your friends are listening to, but that’s way too complicated, and not emphasized, and all the community in music revolves around the hit acts, when the truth is you go to gigs with friends, you want to know what they are listening to.

Community is everything. And to the music industry community is terrestrial radio, an antiquated medium that squares not a whit with the modern paradigm. It’s limited and phony and has too many commercials and it’s not on demand. Youngsters abhor it. But right now it’s the best way to reach the most people so the industry lauds it and pays fealty to it. Like advertisers continuing to use TV when all the action is at Netflix and  YouTube and the internet.

I’ve got no idea what to listen to. I see the top hits, after that, there’s just an endless fire hose of songs, most of which I’m not into. It’d be like seeing endless posts on Facebook from people who are not your friends. You’d sign off, you wouldn’t go there.

And that is what’s happening at Facebook. The news feed was inundated with real news, which most people didn’t want, they wanted baby and vacation photos, info from their social circle, so news has been de-emphasized.

Now the news business is pretty dumb too. So busy protecting an old model, refusing to cede share to their competitors, everybody built their own site and then it turned out people didn’t want to go to a zillion sites and now a huge percentage of people are getting their news on Facebook. Facebook is way too powerful, but that’s the power of social connections.

Sure, we had Apple’s Connect, but everybody knew that network would fail, because Apple is a top-down company and Ping failed before it and you’re gonna build a social network behind a paywall? Might as well have a concert on a private jet, where you might be able to make some money if you charge enough, but almost no one can afford to go.

The music business keeps bitching about low barriers of entry, the inability or refusal to monetize, meanwhile Facebook and Google built behemoths on infrastructure that didn’t charge for eons. And now Snapchat has done the same thing!

Don’t kid yourself, we’ve got a music discovery problem. Which the industry refuses to address, because it’s so wary of change, so wary of giving profits to others. It’s great that Spotify and the streaming sites have all the songs at one low monthly price. And playlists are somewhat helpful. But they’re not addressing the core issue of humanity, that we want to belong, we want to gossip, we want to push and pull amongst our group, we want to be where everybody else is as opposed to out on an island alone.

That’s what made radio great in the old days, community.

Discover Weekly is damn good, but it’s only for me. What are other people like me listening to, my friends, what is Elton listening to and Tom Petty and can we talk about it, will they talk about it with us, can you come down off your throne and get into the pit with the rest of us?


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