Gaming the system: How select artists dominate the music industry

On the fourth episode of her new Beats 1 radio show, “Queen Radio,” Nicki Minaj called out Travis Scott after his “ASTROWORLD” (2018) stole the top Billboard 200 spot from Minaj’s “Queen” (2018). Scott accomplished this by selling ticket-bundling album packages — a common practice in today’s music industry. The difference was that Scott bundled “ASTROWORLD” […]

Is This Thing On? Musical landscape in motion

Wake up people — the way we listen to music is changing in front of our eyes. From how we listen, to how we share, to even what music we are exposed to, it’s no secret that behind the scenes of this industry lie shifting money and politics. My question is, what are we going to do […]

Is This Thing On? Music on the brain

With the advent of the internet, we are living a huge portion of our lives online. As a result, our personal information is being tracked and recorded everywhere, all the time. If you subscribe to a music streaming service, this is especially true. Now, you might choose not to publish what you’re playing to your friends […]

Is This Thing On? Spotify vs. Apple

Anyone who knows me could tell you that I am very passionate about one argument: Spotify vs. Apple Music. In economics, we often talk about substitutes, or completely interchangeable products. At face value, that’s what they are. Spotify and Apple offer almost identical music-streaming services. The pricing tiers, the music available, the features… so why […]

Is This Thing On? While my computer gently weeps

Greetings again! It is my last column of the semester, and I wanted to bring things full circle. I opened by introducing this as a commentary on popular music in the context of college and beyond. This is the music I will look back on with both fond memories and embarrassment and perhaps have difficulty explaining to my kids. Therefore, in […]

Is this thing on? #Only90sKidsWillRemember

Happy (post-) Halloween! Here’s something that is probably scarier than checking your Venmo history from this weekend — your iTunes library from 2008! As a tween, you probably dabbled a little — or a lot — in the emo-pop-punk scene or whatever name you gave to the music of Fall Out Boy, The All-American Rejects, Panic! At The […]

Streaming is king

Something changed over the summer. The change was probably imperceptible to most people, but it is meant to fundamentally affect the music industry. For years — since 1989 in fact — new music in the United States had gone on sale on Tuesdays; in Canada and the U.K., Mondays; and in Australia and Germany, Fridays. According […]

Nw Yrk Styl Dlh

Pooja: This week, I am going to indulge in some grandmother-style musings. Rebecca and I are pretty sure that we are turning into old people — while she sits at home watching “Longmire” (2012-present), I watch youths from a distance and criticize their every move. These past few months, I have started to notice a […]

Ryan Adams’ ‘1989’ covers give Swift’s music new life

“1989” (2014) was perhaps Taylor Swift’s biggest step away from her country singer-songwriter roots and toward the world of pop. She collaborated with high-profile pop producers like Max Martin and Shellback to create hits including the chart-topping “Shake it Off” and “Blank Space” and showed that album sales are not necessarily a thing of the past.  “1989” sold almost 1.3 million copies during […]

Taylor Swift versus Spotify: is streaming the future?

You probably heard — perhaps while trying to stream “1989,” Taylor Swift’s new album, released on Oct. 27  — that Swift herself removed all her music from Spotify earlier this month. And you were probably pretty bummed that you actually had to (God forbid!) buy the album just to avoid becoming a social pariah. But […]