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Streaming is becoming more like radio — what now?

by Tatiana Cirisano,, March 2, 2023

(...) Streaming revolutionized music listening by giving users on-demand access to everything — the opposite of radio. But, over time, streaming has started to look a lot like its predecessor. Streaming services now push algorithmically-generated playlists and ready-made mixes to soundtrack activities, like working out and cooking. Spotify’s AI-powered voice DJ is a lot like listening to a radio DJ provide context on their curated mix of songs. We even have streaming “stations”! Where is all this heading?

There are two possibilities here. One, the Spotifys of the world could become the mainstream centers for passive listening, morphing into the next generation’s version of radio. Meanwhile, fandom and culture would happen on other platforms — either social ones, like TikTok, or on another streaming service that differentiates by going the opposite direction (i.e., SoundCloud, Tidal). The other possibility is that streaming services work to better serve active fans as well as passive ones.


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