I’m sure everyone has seen the new campaign for RDIO: “Human Powered Music Discovery.”

I hate them.

I don’t hate them because of anything Rdio does, but rather because of the state we find music in today. Namely: where is the artist? Where is the emotion?

To me music is more than just something to be “discovered.” The act of discovery is a synthesis of the emotional resonance from those that create, not a celebration of those that aggregate the creators.

There was a time when the discussion around music was around art. Maybe it’s still there, but the predominant narrative is about the industry, the services, the money (or lack there of).

If I was to design a campaign around RDIO, it’d be more akin to what Apple will likely do with their iCloud Music offering whenever they release it.

Celebrate what you are granting access to, not the tool you are using to grant that access. Celebrate the music. The synesthetic ties music has to our baser emotions.

“Human Powered Music Discovery” is clinical bullshit.

Music is more than that. Music colored the moment I first met my wife. The day my childhood pet died, when I lost a friend, when I gained things. Quit jobs, graduated school.

I discover music through my own memories, my own life and my own desires. Music is human, both in creation and consumption. Lets shift the dialog back to that please.


Now read this

In the cold light of day, our mastery and use of tools make us all douchebags

Ethan Kaplan runs product at Live Nation Labs, including overseeing mobile, engineering, design and operations. He lives deep in the suburbs of Los Angeles with his wife Amy, almost four-year old Eli and two pugs. Phone: Black iPhone 5,... Continue →