In recent years, streaming has overtaken radio, and even iTunes downloads, as the public’s preferred method of listening to music. Ever since the rise of Spotify and Apple Music, any song a person could ever think of is ready to be streamed at a moment’s notice.
According to Business Insider, a whopping 75 percent of all music consumption is streamed now, which is the highest this statistic has ever been.
With so much music available, it would be easy to believe there are endless options. However, sometimes just any song or album is not what the music-listener wants. Specific artists are great, but sometimes variety is necessary. This is where playlists come in.
Playlists are a huge motivator when it comes to streaming and for good reason. A playlist can either consist of the same genre of music or range from one extreme to the other—the theme is completely up to the playlist creator. Since the 1980s, playlists, once commonly known as mixtapes, have exploded in popularity.
With this explosion, these streaming services offer preset playlists where listeners can shuffle through a collection of songs linked by a common “mood.”
Mississippi State University students regularly take advantage of this innovative feature on Spotify, and many students were willing to share their favorite pretset playlists and personal playlists with the public.
John Edwards, Spotify user and mechanical engineering fifth-year, says he usually gravitates towards the “Undercurrents” preset playlist on Spotify, which consists of both up-and-coming indie rock bands, and well-known artists with a similar style. Some artists on the playlist include Car Seat Headrest and Soccer Mommy. The playlist has approximately 150,000 listeners, and Edwards discovered it by searching for artists similar to what he usually listens to.
“I listen to Undercurrents because I saw that it had artists like Stephen Malkmus and Purple Mountains, and it’s been the best way for me to continue finding music similar to them,” Edwards said.
While pre-customized music is more readily available than ever before, Spotify and Apple Music have both come to the realization that their users still enjoy creating their own playlists, along with listening to preset playlists.
Bobbye Jackson, a senior art major, created her playlist called “Panera Bread” during her freshman year, and has continued updating it since then.
She says the playlist consists of a lot of mid-2000s pop and modern indie folk, which would typically be played in a restaurant similar to Panera Bread. Artists featured on the playlist include the Beatles, Hozier and the Avett Brothers.
“I was eating at a Panera Bread and decided that their playlist slapped, so I tried to recreate the energy of it with songs that I like,” Jackson said.
Bennett Mills, a senior marketing major, is also fond of making his own personal playlists. He created his playlist named “Dark Necessities,” which consists of about 30 hours’ worth of alternative rock, and Mills is still adding songs to the playlist on a consistent basis.
“My playlist is mainly comprised of ‘90s rock with a lot of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Incubus and Rage Against the Machine. There’s grunge, funk, acoustic and plenty of other sub-genres on there so I can listen to it regardless of what mood I’m in,” Mills said.
There is no doubt playlists have become a formative part of the way people listen to music today.
The progression of music media has changed the art of making a playlist so much over the course of almost 40 years, and it is now easier than ever to create one.