A jazz piano anthology from ragtime to free jazz


In trying to find this on Spotify (a useless effort), I was realising something. What happened to all the compilations I used to see in record stores? Is it over with this marketing model, and are record executives only looking for the artists themselves? Sounds promising, but it is it true?

Nowadays media about streaming are mostly concerned with the dawning end of them. Spotify has not been making a profit, even though its millions of users. Netflix and HBO seem hopelessly lost and don’t know the solution anymore. Sheer panic among 86% of music listeners: what to do when there is no streaming anymore? Where do I get my music now that the record store in the street went bust?

Four years ago the craze was about streaming being king. And all of the consequences of that. I am reading articles about compilations being used as a marketing ploy to attract hapless listeners. A 2019 mix that has no songs from that year, a compilation that bears the title of a popular song by another totally unrelated artist, or a compilation album that never saw a physical release but counts as an album for the benefit of the charts.

And then I’m thinking: but are these pathetic attempts to get our attention so different from the ones in the past? Maybe we don’t go to the record store around the corner, but we do click on the link. In marketing terms that is called a conversion, and it is just as valuable as buying something in a shop.

So has nothing changed then? Well… today’s compilations are specifically made for streaming. The Swedish company X5 exists just for that: to create compilations just for digital media. They started out with only classical music, but have since branched out in partnership with Universal Music Group and produce around 50 digital compilations each month. Old wine in new bottles.

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