We are Spotify. And we are for music. Join us at: https://www.spotify.com/us/for-music/ (RT @SpotifyUSA: Did you see our spot during @NBCTheVoice tonight? Check out the full version here!
This new Spotify ad really rubbed me a certain way this morning; the wrong way. As Spotify attempts to become the Big "Brother" of music, this ad attempts to describe the affect, meaning and purpose of music in ‘our’ lives. Defining music has been only attempted a million times before throughout history but in every instance met by linguistic FAILS. That’s becuase music is not the same to anyone person, people or species. But in this Spotify ad all we see is the dramatized emotions of crowd surfing. One lone white male surfing a sea of white/light arms that intend to animate the microscopic tingling of the skin or the phisilogical high that music can often evoke. Of course, Spotify has an idea who its market is; young whites located in the western-hemisphere where they are the majority (South America and the Caribean are the other West, I guess). Of course their marketing charts include people of color, but this isn’t a factor when creating ads for something as omnimous as music or humanity. Not a factor because for decades marketing ‘mad men’ have indoctrinated everybody else to experience these broad concepts vicariously through the white image of humanity.
Before I continue, you may question why I am even bringing race or gender into a discussion about a damn Spotify ad? I answer, if we love music so much how do we take for granted the intentional and methodical actions of the American music industry (in particular) to segregate, catergorize and marginalize our beloved force "for good"? The true vastness of music will always be just beyond our fingertips if we take race, cultural and social stratification, and gender for granted. In fact most of us have wondered of the dimensions of music still not explored. Do you truly believe these untapped realms of musical experience will always be dictated by the creative thoughts and actions of one people? Come on! This is not about race or even nationalism, this is about Spotify and its voice in our ever-growing relationship to music.
The text in the ad favors no better, if not illustrates how Spotiy is no leader in our musical future, or we had better not see that it is. After the steady paced young white male voice questions why music "stops us in our tracks" and has us screaming "coocoocahoo (sp?)" he then wields his audacious tongue to claim that "We were all conceived to a 4/4 beat?! Uhm ,no we ALL weren’t!
Again, I get it, the vast majority of the non-western world that are not slaves to the 4/4 beat may not be Spotiy’s market, but the statement is false all the same. "Because music is worth fighting for", the ad continues; and what exactly are we fighting for in its behalf? The commodification of music? Music is not just what is recorded nor does it need our help to exist. Like atoms, energy and cockaroaches it will be here beyond humanity.
Does Spotiy see itself as freeing music? From what, itself? The issue I take with Spotify and this streaming goldrush is that it is a well-dressed frankenstein of the now antiquaited music business model. Its relationship with artists is the same if not worse. It still erects the same imagined parameters around music so that it can be factory assembled, marketed and sold.
See on www.youtube.com