Discover more from The Repeat Saturday Email
For almost 10 years now, WXPN, the indie, non-commercial radio station in Philadelphia, has had two slogans: “Rhythms, not algorithms” and “Curated, not encoded.”
It’s probably not surprising that hippies and hipsters united to rail against commercial radio and streaming services, marking both as a common enemy. But what is surprising is how early they were in doing so. Even if they were to have released those slogans now, they would have been early on what is likely the next trend: human.
Though we’re down off the initial “holy shit” hype and awe of generative AI, we are squarely in the initial implementation phase of it. This week, AWS started running ads in NFL broadcasts that show how parts of the cloud service can help predict whether consumers will even like what you’re creating.
Seems great for mitigating risk. Seems terrible if you’re into craftsmanship.
The juries out on what we’ll get back, but radio—and streaming audio services like Spotify—seem to be a good indication. And if that’s the case, it’ll all sorta look and sound and feel the same-ish.
There won’t be as many pattern interruptions or visceral reactions to things. We’ll mostly like, but probably not love or hate, a lot of what comes our way. Over time, we’ll get bored with that. We’ll want the craftsmanship of the product and of the story—whether we end up liking the combined components or not.
And so, perhaps, the next counterculture will be human. We’ll have “human-designed” and “human-written” and “made by people.”
It’ll be the same as what WXPN is doing, just bigger.