“Nowadays, in contrast, even a person professing to listen only to metal, who doesn’t like any other style of music, still has access to 30,000 possible metal bands spanning more than 40 years of metal history. He or she is unlikely to find even one other person who exactly shares his or her taste. Each listener becomes a tribe of one, the great diversity making it impossible to line up your taste with anyone else’s. There are fewer Saxon fans now, to be sure.
Some people might make the case that this lack of tribalism in music is a positive development. Obviously something’s been gained, especially by the generation of kids who have access to great music in an uninterrupted stream. All those teenagers whose parents played them Bach in the womb, who were raised on a steady diet of the Beatles and Beck, are surely the most musically literate generation in history. But as music becomes more of a commodity, the value of any one band or song declines.”