Generally speaking, 1996 was part of a transitional era in the musical world. Grunge/Alternative had nearly run the course set out by the mainstream industry – oversaturation and death! Punk rock was still enjoying a major resurgence. Hip hop was influencing areas of metal, spawning NuMetal, and gearing up for massive mainstream success. A new wave of boy bands (NWOBB™) were drinking their milk and waiting to be unleashed (not that they needed leashes, they were adequately fenced in). If you didn’t like any of these changes musical fashions, then you mostly just had to wait, beacause, as ever, they oversaturate and die.
Look What They Did: The USA telecommunications act was passed in 1996, removing the limits on the number of radio and TV stations that any one American broadcaster can own. The result? More than ever before, you can visit the remotest corners of North America, each wonderously varied and unique region, tune in and hear or see the exact same shit everywhere you turn, repeated ad nauseum. The music industry has since been dominated by only a handful of corporations, down from dozens in the early 80s. (Buy them up and shut them down, Then repeat in every town).