I know there has always been a concern with how music is received, but it always used to be more about making a piece of music a hit in making it really pop or just really good, whereas now the audience and trends of reception are right *there* and people are too caught up in that.
and people think they're working hard on their music, so they'd get defensive if you attacked it for being totally superficial, but they're actually just working hard trying to create a desired reaction in the most insubstantial way.
(and younger bands/musicians are too concerned with trying to musically appear just like their influences. rather than being inwardly inspired to fulfill their creative urges with any kind of authenticity. as well as having the aforementioned issue in differing degrees).
but this extends beyond music, this is an affliction of anyone with any concern for any kind of audience and thus it's endemic of the Internet-centric world.
like...people, at the heart of it. a lot of people are too concerned with the way they are being thought of at any given moment.
self-conscious music for self-conscious people.