Published online by Cambridge University Press: 30 August 2019
Human curation has earned itself a permanent place in the streaming media world, though it wasn’t always clear whether or how that would happen. For a time, it seemed like tech didn’t want to justify the use of human labour if the future could be won without it. That time seems to have passed, and with handmade playlists and other editorial products, human curators have a unique ability to help the widest-ever audiences find great music. People from different backgrounds are more able now to hear each other’s sounds than ever before. Whether the streamlining of these services matters to a given user is wholly subjective, since the joy of discovering new music is often so inefficient and chaotic. It was never clear that this same sense of joy would make it into streaming products – for many of us, it cannot. And that’s okay. Services offer only what they can.