How internet has changed our approach of digging
It’s not a secret : Internet has been created as a space of freedom, a space with no rules, but especially as a space with no boundaries or limits, where everything becomes accessible to everyone. And this where music comes in. Indeed, before Internet, you would visit your local record shop, and dedicate time to it. The approach of music and its research had come to change with this new tool. Arte recently brought out a new documentary show, in 18 episodes : Dig it. One of those episodes particularly striked me : « Tous diggers ». It talks about the new way we « dig », we discover music, brought to us with the expansion of digital. Here is a quick look of this new digging networks and sub-culture:
Youtube makes everyones a curator. Everyone can now upload and discover music. Simple as that : Youtube is the largest musical library in the world. It allows ghanean disco track or old techno stuff to come out of the shadow. Everyone, wherever he is on the planet, can upload a vinyl on Youtube. Everyone is now creator of content, and this obviously changes the relation with have with music. Some of Youtube’s channel are now so influent that it became nearly as important to sign on a label than to be on one of those big channels.
Some platform had made streaming their speciality. Here, it’s not really about digging. Tracks are classified by genre, artist or sometimes playlist. Here there is no real digging, the work is done for you. Neverthelss, just as Youtube, it gives access to an impressive number of tracks and therefore participates of the democratisation of music. Moroever, with a suscribe system (as Spotify or Deezer are doing) or a e-shop where you can buy the track (such as Itunes or Bandcamp), the artist is paid for his work.
Before the Internet, a community needed to have a physical space to exist, a place to meet. Social media allowed the dematerialization of these communities. Nowadays, anyone can just share music or talk about a release with anyone, wherever he is. The socially globalized musical library is now a collective edifice.
Internet is not killing the physical format. It’s actually the opposite : vinyl is supporting the vinyl revival. Indeed, Internet allows tracks to get pulled out of the shadow, and accessible to music lovers around the world. Juno, Deejay and… Latouch : so many platforms have been created to promote this charming and timeless format. Now vinyl, just like music, is spreading through the internet. Before you had to visit dozens of junk shop to find the rare vinyl you were looking for, now you just have to go on discogs and find all the second-hand vinyl you want.
Internet has inevitably changed our approach of digging. Music is now popular and accessible. You can now find anything about any genre on the worldwide web. Internet may have killed the underground, but is music democratization really a bad thing ?