Mick Jagger on streaming: “People of all generations can access music from all periods”

The Rolling Stones' frontman Mick Jagger discusses how embracing change in music streaming has been key to their lasting success.

Mick Jagger streaming

In an interview to promote their new album, Hackney Diamonds, the Rolling Stones frontman had a few things to say on the music streaming landscape – and he’s a lot more positive about it than you might expect.

Chatting to Q host Tom Power on Canada’s CBC radio, the Jagger reflected on the new album and the musical landscape it would be joining, expressing that he thinks the band’s longevity has been in part thanks to “staying abreast of what’s going on”.

“I’m not saying I’m slavishly trying to be at the cutting edge of everything, but you have to understand how things work, you know, in the current world,” he said. “And that doesn’t just apply to the music industry, it applies to lots of things.

READ MORE: The Rolling Stones announce new documentary on the making of Hackney Diamonds

“I mean, you know, driving a car is a different experience than driving a car in 1960. And the record business, like all businesses, it changes a lot. I mean, the record business being a business of technology, it never stays the same. It never stayed the same ever.”

With a musical career spanning more than six decades, Jagger’s seen a lot of music trends come and go, from vinyl to cassette, CD and streaming. With that in mind, he also did a bit of ruminating on what the business used to look like.

“Albums by pop acts did not sell,” he said. “What did sell was show albums like South Pacific… Frank Sinatra might sell albums… And then suddenly, the Beatles came along, and they started selling pop albums. So it was a huge change.”

He added that while streaming is “much maligned”, “the interesting thing about it is that people of all generations can access music from all periods”.

“Before, if I wanted to, you know, buy an old blues record from 1955, that was really difficult. I had to do a mail order; I had to go into a specialist’s shop, even though I had plenty of money. To go and buy it now, I can just – there it is. It’s right there. So what does that mean? Well, that means that kids of 16 can access anything they want.”

The British rock legends are on their 24th studio album, and Hackney Diamonds marks their first new musical output since 2005’s A Bigger Bang.

The new album apparently includes 12 tracks, including contributions from Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Elton John and Stevie Wonder, while two tracks feature late drummer Charlie Watts.

Despite being on the cusp of releasing this new album, Jagger recently revealed that The Rolling Stones are already at work on their next full-length record.

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