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Musical Movements: Streaming

Posted on December 4, 2013 | by Francesco Zenati


The way people listen to music has undergone constant change in the past two decades,  from vinyl records to cassette tapes to compact discs to MP3 files. However, the newest way to listen to music is simple — to stream it.

More artists and organizations are turning to this delivery method as a way of fostering an aura of urgency in music listeners, and with this comes exclusivity. Watching a live music stream can be considered a third category for concertgoers. There are those who attend concerts, those who don’t and those who watch and listen to concert streams online.

Arcade Fire and Blaise Bellville have already pioneered this medium, creating never-before-seen excitement for music. Arcade Fire’s release of their fourth studio album was an impressive affair — in anticipation of the album, they streamed their performance at the YouTube Music Awards. They also released their album in its entirety on YouTube, replete with visuals from the 1959 movie “Black Orpheus,” and they removed it just a few hours after the release.

Blaise Bellville is the CEO of the electronic music streaming company known as Boiler Room. Boiler Room organizes exclusive events where electronic music artists perform and stream the events live on their website, The company started in London, but has expanded to Berlin, New York, Paris, Los Angeles and Mexico City, and Bellville plans to continue establishing it in more places.

As many as 1.1 million people have tuned in to watch their streams at one time. Boiler Room continues to stream its parties from all over the world, and with a constantly expanding music archive, the company promises to attract all sorts of music fans.

Pop artists such as Lady Gaga and Britney Spears have also experimened with live streams of their albums prior to release. Their efforts exposed an enormous amount of people to this concept. The next step is a consistent calendar of music streaming events that provide alternatives to music lovers, who either do not want to deal with the chaos of live events or do not want to miss events held in foreign countries.

It is only a matter of time before music streaming becomes a social event, at which point the corporatism and antiquity of the music industry will make way for a much-needed redesign of music culture based on community interaction rather than corporate marketing.

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Dec. 4 print edition. Francesco Zenati is a staff writer. Email him at 


Tatiana Baez

Assistant Managing Editor | A CAS junior, Tatiana is studying journalism, environmental science and politics. She’s a bomb editor, as well as the staff’s main source of entertainment because she sings along to every song after 12 a.m. She also writes about culture, science, technology and sex, and her work has been featured in VICE, Motherboard, Elite Daily, amNewYork and others. She enjoys eating Thai food, reading fiction and binge-watching Netflix.

And in case you were wondering how great she really is — “I just can’t get enough of Tatiana” is a direct quote from her EIC at WSN only moments ago.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

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