Streaming News

What’s happening in regards to the streaming world, streaming services, and music. keeping you up-to-date on important issues that can affect music fans!

Genre: Streaming News

It’s been a really long time since I’ve written about any streaming news. I wanted to share something I discovered a couple of days ago. Occasionally, one of the things I liked to do is use built-in radio from various free streaming applications, such as iHeartRadio & Slacker. They all have different algorithms that offer the chance to hear even more diverse music. Well, I hadn’t done this for a while until a couple of days ago. I decided to login to YouTube music. Oh boy, has it changed! It changed a LOT, and for the better.

YouTube Music Has Become Very Spotify Like!!




First off, I must say that YouTube Music has become very “Spotify Like.” As much as these streaming services want to be unique, at the end of the day, they all windup looking very much the same (if not aesthetically, at least have many of the same elements). I still maintain the belief that when it comes to music, there isn’t too much you can do differently to attract new customers/free users. Users either like your service or they don’t.

Google Play - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

So, in essence Google has replaced GooglePlay with YouTube Music. If you still have GooglePlay installed on your phone, Google gives you the opportunity to download all your old uploaded music. You can also transfer your uploaded music to your new YouTube Music account. I have to say I’m really impressed, yet, I’m not surprised either. I’ve predicted this many times in the past before. It’s not gonna matter what service you use, it will all be a matter of preference. However, I’m not gonna lie, I think YouTube has one up on all the other services (including Spotify), and that is the licensing. I’ve been noticing this for quite some time. I think YouTube is the only giant entity where music licenses don’t expire! Come to think about it, they’re probably the only large entity that is literally almost immune to all and any music licenses. No other company can get away with that! In terms of the artist themselves, this has got to feel kind of f*cked up, as real legitimate streaming services like Spotify, TuneIn Pandora, etc, all must adhere to a different set of rules, and additional set of sub-rules within those rules. But, as messed up as that sounds, it’s a benefit to music fans, as this means access to music content is truly unlimited. No other streaming services (including Spotify) can match that.

iHeartRadio - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

One of the biggest complaints I used to have with YouTube was that, as a music fan (especially of classic music), there was no access to original albums. Music was just sloppily spread all over the place. That was a huge problem for me, because I realized we were dealing with two entirely different music cultures. I’m not talking about the issue of old music and the new music either. The new breed of young music listeners are only interested in the “single hit song of the week.” Young music listeners are not really interested in albums (I think). I am confident this is true, since a significant majority of them has never seen an actual 12 inch vinyl before.

Kids and Teenagers Are Not Interested In Albums!!




This made it difficult for older folk like me, because we remember good music on old albums that did not hit the music charts. This is one of the reasons I make it a point to post original album covers, because it adds to the whole nostalgic experience. But, I’m not gonna lie, if YouTube NOW was the same as when I started streaming (6-7 years ago I think), I’d probably be using YouTube instead of Spotify. But, I still don’t think YouTube’s algorithms are as good as Spotify tho. YouTube Music (specifically) knows how to match up similar music, whereas Spotify’s algorithm learns the listener’s listening habits. I’ve also noticed that both free version of YouTube and Spotify are pushing less ads/less intrusive. My complaints among these services are becoming less and less. My only pet peeve now seems to be I can’t use all of the services to tweet, as they are often missing the album cover when tweeted. That’s annoying 🤣. Hey guys, just as a reminder, if you ever want to convert my Spotify playlist to your YouTube Music account, you can simply use Soundiiz for free! I encourage you to try out other free music services.

Just wanted to take the time to wish everyone a safe and healthy New Year. I’ve already made major changes before the New Year, and probably one of the biggest decisions was to leave Facebook. For various reasons, Facebook was no longer practical for me as a blogger. In fact, it became more of a hindrance than a useful tool. Luckily for us, Facebook isn’t the only social media tool.

A New Year In Classics!




Although we’ve entered a New year in 2020, remember that any old classics you don’t know of, is actually new music to you! Old doesn’t necessarily mean a throwaway, or no longer valuable, not by any means. Neither does playing classic music means you’re stuck in the past. Playing the classics means we’re paying homage to real artists of the past, perhaps reconnecting with who you were as a young person, or maybe you’re a young person just looking for something different to listen to.

Remember That Most People Are Multifaceted! There Should Be No Shame In Listening To Old School Music!




Relatively speaking, there are only a handful of true classic bloggers. And when I say “true classic bloggers,” I mean websites that don’t only post YouTube links of the same Motown performers, or YouTube links of the same blonde rockers breaking their guitars (and no text around or under the post). Our music culture is so rich and diverse, I don’t think the average person really understands that, regardless of the age.

We’re Here, So Come & Find Us!




All I can say is, although there are few of us true classic bloggers, we’re still out here! I guess that makes us specialists in a way, doesn’t it? Come and find us! With every new year, there should be at least some effort to find good classic music. With the major shift in American culture, major changes in the music streaming world, the massive heavy push of hip hop, it has removed much interest for not only classic Black music, but music of all kinds other than hip hop and pop. A message to parents and other adults: The excuse of not having any money to buy music no longer applies. Music is practically free. As much as I’d like my readers to use ANY paid streaming service like Spotify to support your artists, you still have free YouTube!

Rod Stewart - Spotifythrowbacks.com

While browsing the internet, I happened to notice that one of my most favorite rock artists from back in the day, has been fighting with prostate cancer. Damn! Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but, I’m really worried about this. Again, why are so many celebrities getting cancer? I mean, people who are  considered relatively healthy are getting these visions diseases. This emotionally effects me personally, as this was what my grandpa recently died of. Not easy watching the person you love dealing with that. It is reported that he has been dealing with the terrible disease for about 3 years since his diagnosis. Now, Rod Stewart, Regina Bell, and many others have been reported to have life threatening cancers. Could you just imagine the untold amounts of people both here in America and abroad who are not famous, struggling with this. WTF? Something else is going on. I hope Stewart makes a full recovery.

The legendary Kurtis Blow
Rap legend Mr. Kurtis Blow

I’d like to apologize to everyone for the three day lag. It was unavoidable. Unfortunately. So, during that time, I was thinking about (on a deeper level) just how music streaming has permanently changed the game, for both new artists & fans of music forever! While there exist so many things that the streaming industry has done right, there are so many other things that has gone wrong!

The Growing Disappearance Of Music Labels, Turned Today’s Musicians In To Spam Hustlers




You know, I’ve always had mixed feelings about music labels. Although I disliked the fact that they’ve cheated both artists and fans for over a half a century, I also could not deny the reality of how much it actually cost to manage an artist or band. It’s not just getting up on stage and singing. It used to be that an artist needed a publicist, wardrobe planner, studio rentals, coaches, travel expenses, and even an office to handle their revenue and taxes.

Crystal Gayle - SpotifyThrowbacks.com
The legendary Crystal Gayle

Although the music labels were crooks, they also took on all of those responsibilities (and then some) previously mentioned for the artist. Suddenly, the artist realizing not just how much work it is to be a musician, but the financial strain of becoming a successful one. It’s also quite obvious how hip hop is hitting hard on social media, to the point of becoming spammers. Especially when it comes to Facebook. I think it’s important to note, once you start looking like a spammer, people eventually ignore you, and many times block you. Almost all artists are using automated bots. Most have no personal websites with their own music. Most don’t have a bio. The mindset is, get your music on Spotify and watch the money roll in. When it doesn’t, the artist blame Spotify.

Real Talent Needs To Interact With Fans, Bots Can’t Do Everything For You!




This is why, despite what many foolishly think…… The reality is we still, and will forever need music bloggers. Although albeit, technically you don’t need us to review music anymore, ’cause people can just look it up on YouTube and listen to the artist themselves. However, music bloggers can point you in the right direction, provided that our musical tastes are similar. Bottom line, the problem with YouTube is that you still need to know what you’re looking for before you can find it. But, the other problems is, many people want everything instant, and don’t want to take the time to read, or take time to see what bloggers offer. It’s a behavior that makes our web presence difficult, but it’s the reality we live in. You just have to work harder to find venues that attract people that are still in love with music, and venues that attract the kinds of fans you’re looking for. The same goes for music bloggers. This is why it’s important to do it because you love it, not because you have dreams of making millions of dollars with Spotify; because the landscape has changed.

Stevie Wonder & Ray Charles - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Maybe it’s the blogger in me, but I’ve often wondered…. If streaming existed 50 years ago, would legends such as Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, and Jose Feliciano, be the legends they are today? Or perhaps let’s go 50 years further with men like, Willie McTell or Leon Payne, would they have been just as successful? I haven’t seen any real write ups on this, and this subject matter has drummed up quite a few interesting questions for me. As YouTube grows and becomes even more powerful every day, how is it that we’re not seeing not only talented visually impaired musicians, but any musician with disabilities today making a statement on the web?

Andrea Bocelli - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

I guess, someone could just as easily make the argument that I’m perceiving this in the wrong way. That is, if we use examples like Andrea Bocelli, who not only has an incredible voice, he has worked with some big names in his career. We’re talking Celine Dion, Tony Bennett, Edith Piaf, and has even worked with today’s mainstream artists such as Jennifer Lopez. But, this still doesn’t explain the lack of presents of disabled musicians today; especially when we consider the level of technology now available. AND considering artists like Andrea, Stevie, etc, made their mark before streaming. How could we begin to even measure this?

Willie Johnson - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Then again, I also thought to myself, this could also be due to how streaming works now, in terms of being an independent artist. Indirectly, it would take an incredible amount of additional time for promotion alone. Which also means, a lot of money would be involved to trust someone to do these things for you. This I guess is one of the unfortunate downsides of the growing extinction of music labels today. I’m sure that there are many other factors I haven’t thought of, but it would really be an interesting subject, and I wish there were in-dept articles about it.


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To be honest, I’m not sure exactly where I’m going with this post, but… It seems to me that music has gotten a little more complicated. In the age of streaming, it has become more than just access to listen to whatever type of music you want. Believe it or not, it just now occurred to me that privacy in regards to music streaming is an issue too. How is privacy an issue? Well, let me start off by saying that “privacy” isn’t just making sure your name and credit card information is secure while your on the web.

Music Has Become A Privacy Issue Too!




How so? Companies like Spotify are collecting large amounts of data that contain our music habits. While I understand the data collected is essential  and necessary to putting together the best possible app experience, it’s the 3rd party applications I’m concerned about. As I’ve said once before, although it’s fun to share music on social media, music is also a personal thing too. Different types of music has personal meaning to it. There are times when you may not want certain groups of friends know that you love to listen to certain artists. We shouldn’t be a shamed of the music we like to listen to; however at the same time, social pressure is real (especially for young people).

A perfect example of this is when I tried a site called Last.FM. It’s a cute site that scrobbles your music. There is a third party Spotify application that allows Last.FM to keep track of the music you’re listening to on Spotify. Other members of Last.FM can see your listening history and then some. Problem? You’d have to remember to disable that third party plugin, if you don’t want friends to know  that you actually love Metal music, or music that is so obscure no one has ever heard of them.

Why Should I Even Care?




You might be saying to yourself “why should I care what people think?” Well, once you pass a certain age, you really shouldn’t in my opinion. On the other hand, I’ve seen younger people get frustrated when friends don’t invite them to social gatherings, simply because of assumptions made solely based on the music they listen to. That’s the one issue that never, ever seemed to exist when I was growing up. Sometimes, even as a blogger I find all this information a nuisance, because I don’t want people to get an idea of what I want to write about before I actually write it. It spoils the surprise. I think it’s important that the public becomes aware of how data collection/migration is effecting our lives in the most subtle of ways.

SpotifyThrowbacks.com

I know I’ve talked a little bit about this before, but.. I saw this article on Forbes’s website, about How Many Streams Make A Hit? This doesn’t work for old school music. There needs to be a way to mathematically convert old album sales to streaming numbers, in order to be included in the digital era (not compete, just simply included). Other wise the new generation of music lovers who like classics, could be missing out. Now that more people are using streaming, now instead of 100M being seen as a hit, now it’s over 2B. I’ll be lucky of some of the songs I write about hit 2k much less. Again, one of the many signs of our music history being lost. Not just from cultural ignorance, but because of how music streaming works. I guess also the mindset of the young too. These kids today will not listen to anything older than a month old it seems. That’s sad. Good music is good music, regardless of the year it was released. I digress.

I just wanted to take the time to personally say thank you for your support, and interest in reading my blog. The thousands of unique monthly visitors I receive every month, validates the desperate need to reconnect with both Black and Puerto Rican American music culture. Never forget that our history and life experiences are also told through our music. Music has always been in our blood since our existence. I deeply hope that new readers who may not use Spotify; make that as an excuse not to see value in what I’m doing. There are so many services that are ALSO FREE you can use to listen to the historic songs I post. All it cost is a few extra keystrokes of your time. Stop being so lazy & unwavering. You should know most music bloggers use Spotify and SoundCloud anyway.

Starting next week, my articles will get a little shorter. Writing blog articles is a lot of work, especially when you’re factoring in coding, gathering images, researching, deciding, spell correcting, grammar, and a host of other background stuff. I want to give you the best quality possible. Therefore to try and keep the 5 day consistency, I’ll write  smaller articles. This will give me more time to do other things, and keep fans what they expect at the same time. Hope you guys are enjoying the diversity that my blog offers! Once again, thank you.

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