Having been a user of SoundCloud for over 4 years, I have seen how the media platform has expanded and grown. From its humble beginnings as a simple, yet efficient sound sharing program to its current status as the number one sound sharing experience Worldwide.
With the introduction of SoundCloud and the digital age, the way we distribute and share music has changed forever. Looking back at the way music has been produced over the last 15 years, we can see how the medium and message have changed dramatically. Mediums (old media platforms) have been forced to either mutate (the manipulation of vinyl for other musical practices), re-incarnate (the cassette to the mini-disc) or sadly, just simply die (the list is too long).
If we consider McLuhan’s theory, “The meaning is the message“, McLuhan explains that “the message is the change in scale or pace or pattern” that a new invention or innovation introduces into human affairs.
There is no doubt that SoundCloud has seen a dramatic shift in the way that we distribute music. As mentioned in a prior post, gone are the days of burning countless CD’s for you to listen to your favourite tracks. SC has bought with it not only the ability for you to just listen to your music, but create a community, a network that has shifted from your family and friends, to a worldwide audience. This “pattern” is a huge deal.
The consumer of old has now become the prosumer of the 21st century. As Mark Freedman explains “noticing change in our societal or cultural ground conditions indicates the presence of a new message”.
With every new message we are forced to determine the effects of the message. Using SoundCloud as my example. The ease in which music is now shared across the Internet is having a dramatic effect on physical music sales. It is also changing the way in which society as a whole looks at the production of music and the value that it places on talent and ability.
Is there too much music on the Internet?
I will save that for another post. 🙂