Home New Age music history Did They Just Kill New Age Music!?

Did They Just Kill New Age Music!?


It is a sad fact that New Age music is not found worthy to be a main genre on many music services these days. The best New Age music can hope for is to be a sub-genre, somewhere deep down in the menus. A recent discussion on emusic.com illustrates this depressing state of affairs.

Music services designed between 1998-2005 (like mp3.com, CD Baby and Emusic) always had (and still has) New Age music as a main genre – while newer services, notably Spotify and iTunes – are hiding it like a buried treasure, or it is nowhere to be found. This is how emusic.com looked in year 2000; look how easy it was to spot New Age music:

This is how New Age music has been indexed on emusic.com in the recent years:

Emusic discussion
The veteran music site lives on, now owned by cloud service operator TriPlay. The new ownership obviously wants a redesign of the page, and a user – TROY – saw what had happened to the New Age music genre tag in the redesign beta (full disclosure: I’m NOT this user).

See the complete discussion here. And this is how it looks after the redesign:

No, Emusic did not kill New Age music. Not this time at least. It might be borderline acceptable for many New Age music fans to index the genre under Soundtracks. (I don’t think so, but that is another discussion.)

Perhaps it is time to accept the fact that the times are changing? Or is it because music site managers in their 20s have little knowledge about a genre that was big in the late 1980s? I don’t know. All I can say is that I’m glad that Emusic will still feature New Age music, although we all will have to look a bit further to find it.

It is not all doom and gloom though. New Age music is still a Grammy category (section 30) and has a dedicated Billboard chart. I must also mention that New Age music is not the only genre who is struggling in the modern-day streaming economy. Mainly instrumental genres like classical and Jazz find it hard to compete with EDM, Chill and other «modern» genres. Though in the above presentation, New age music was the only one to “take the bullet”.

Perhaps being a sub-genre is not that bad after all? In music new and interesting things tends to happen far from the limelight…