I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case tbh as music has BECOME AMBIENT, whether or not it was designed to be.
It's constantly accessible, and so constantly playing, in the background. Nobody sits down and listens to music without any distractions anymore.
What is wanted, most of the time, is a pleasant accompaniment to browsing social media.
I often read on the tube with music in my headphones, and I am constantly forced to stick on some ultra-agreeable classical music or ambient (Eno 'On Land') just so it doesn't distract me from reading.
OFFTOPIC but its similar to the situation with visual art, in which we're so overwhelmed with images these days that images that used to shock or inspire or overwhelm people now have to be stared at for a considerable length of time, perhaps with explanatory captions, in order to puncture our overstimulated senses. Imagery is ambient too.
Once again - it depends on your definition of ambient.
Look at the people in Luka's list. Basinski - deeply melancholic studies on decay, Richter & Stars of the Lid - defined narrative structures with periods of extreme intensity - they represent a strain within ambient that has very little to do with the traditional definition. Drone as a genre is characterised as much by its stark bleakness as anything else.
This is not the escapism of New Age, prog hippies like Fripp and Hillage, 90's chill out bliss or Eno's canonical period.
and agree with craner, winter months when the windows are closed is the time for "ambient". once the warm weather comes and the windows open, i can't hear those drones and bleeps/bloops over the outside traffic.