Lean-forward listening can be defined most urgently by what it is not. To encapsulate it in a single sentence: in the Big Tech-dominated era, it's not anything that is passively funneled into your ears by Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Amazon Music, Pandora Radio (for my middle-aged readers), Tidal, or any other algorithm-based streaming platform. It's not opening up the Spotify app and selecting anything on the Home Page from "Made for [Your Name]" down to the asinine mood playlists (not "Deep focus," not "Genre-bending blends," not "Sing-along," three choices that happen to loiter on my page at time of writing). It is ESPECIALLY not " Discover Weekly ." It is not feebly shouting across the room to your Amazon Alexa or Google Home to " play happy music " or "play party bangers." It is not allowing, once your streamed album or video of choice has ended, the Autoplay feature (cleverly dubbed "Radio"
Commentary on the state of music consumption in the streaming era (dominated by Big Tech and data-driven algorithmic playlists), with emphasis on the dangers of so-called "lean-back" listening.