Thursday, August 18, 2016

Old music sells out new music

Hypebot had an article that old music sells out new music. You can read the whole article here:

Now how to disect this kind of senastional media.

First they only measure the physical market. Not has Nielsen (who did the research) or Hypebot (who wrote about it) really not knowledge how the industry has changed. And especially how the consumer has changed. They just want to sell copies/views.

Of course on the old market, yes the people buying CD/Vinyl is people old enough to know what it is. I look on my nephew he is 12 years old. He would never buy a CD or Vinyl. He knows what it is, but it doesn’t attract his generation. Of course the generation it attracts well they won’t buy the new stuff since they don’t understand the new music. This is not something new. This happens in all generations.

There is through a point into this. Yes the new generation is more exposed to the old music. Go back to the same nephew. When he was 7 years old he came home to me wearing a KISS t-shirt and proclaimed he loved that band. So I guessed that his parents (read father) has put that on him. But that was not logical. His father was really into electronic music. It would have been much more likely that the kid would have had an Indochine t-shirt. No this came from something else. Yes he was exposed to it from people around him.

In the 80:s and 90:s music disappeared. If you didn’t buy a certain album it was gone. I mean I hunted Misfits vinyl’s in the early 90:s. The band was not that popular in Sweden and had stopped to exist. To get this album you really had to dig down on record fairs. Today…well on click on Spotify / Youtube/ Itunes yes it’s really easy to find what I dug so hard to get. The chances then to be exposed to it is much higher and not so much work either. That is why my Nephew suddenly liked Kiss (he got over it)

Of course that will explain some of it. But the biggest explanation is the consumer’s pattern. Suddenly Nielsen doesn’t know how to measure things. Before it was easy, just look on the sale charts, look on the radio chart. How many units, how many spins. Today it can be oh so different.
Let’s go back to my nephew. Where does he find music? Not Spotify. Youtube is a big channel for him. Specially the program that does pranks and shows failures.  And there is music in the background. But I will say the biggest channel he got is … He is a freak on videogames. He plays the games looks on e-sports and are exposed to that music. And if you took how much the music Hypebot talks about and make comparison how much that music is actually used (listen to) then it will be a kind of low fraction if you compare how many times the intro song of the latest Assasins Creed has been played. The problem here is that right now there is no good way to measure it. So the stupid conclusion from Nielsen and Hypebot is: OHHH we stopped listen to new music.

No we listen more than ever. It’s not just the measurement, it’s also the channels. When I was a kid (yes looong time ago) Sweden only had two TV channel. Yes only two. If a song was played on a popular TV program back then. Yes everyone knew it the next day. It was an instant hit. The mainstream market was hit as soon the song was played on that channel.

Today the channels are bigger. Pew Die Pie has more watchers each day than two channels had on a week. And Pew Die Pie has the world as a market. Those two channels just Sweden. So the people that looks on Pew Die Pie they discuss with each other online of what he did, done etc. But the mainstream audience will probably not even know his name.

And here it is. The viral today only takes it to a certain point. No to the masses like in the old days. At the same time it reach so much more people in ways that is much harder to control and give a value to.

Many idiots comes out and says that the music produced today is badly done etc. No that argument have you heard from every damn new generation. No it’s just consumed in a totally new way that is harder to measure.

So what I’m seeing right now is a change that will kill many of the old players. Yes record labels has already been through the crusher. My opinion is the next ones are the live industry. I have seen several programs that many live stages has disappeared over the years. And when I was on festivals this summer I was kind of amazed that most of the audience was in my age or older. There was not that many kids there. Where are they?

Well they consume music but not on rock bars or festivals. They consume things on Cosplay or DreamHack. This generation will not be cool to hang on a filthy rock bar drinking beer and see sleeze rock. That is over. But I guess if you took a symphony orchestra and a famous DJ and play music from games you will sell out an arena. Why? Because they recognize that music. They have their social attachment to music online. Not on the disco lite in the 80:s not in the barn dance like in the 50:s. The thing is that they will listen to music, just in another way.

So back to the article on Hypebot:
But how bright is the future of any industry that generates more revenue from old products instead of new ones?

It’s a shift in the movement right now. Yes we need to get money from these new ways. We already have some good tools, but they need to be better. We also have to change they we think about marketing and opportunities for artists. And also how an artist today should be developed. My artists nags on me to play on these rock bars and festivals. Even though we all know that there is no interesting people there. Actually no people at all. We have to find the new highways of people to expose our new music to.

We need to get rid of old farts like record labels and old working publishers. We need to get money to people that needs to try new ways to put in music where the listeners are. It will happen but it will be a try and error part for a couple of years.


  1. Hej Peter!
    Tack för din blogg! Jag läser den ofta, och fast jag skruvar mig av obehag ibland så tycker jag att du ofta slår huvudet på spiken och jag får lära mig en massa obekväma sanningar. Speciellt det här inlägget, om livemusikens eventuella framtida död - jag har också den känslan. Så mycket jobbigt att ta till sig, men värdefullt!
    Sofie Jonsson

  2. Tack Sofie. Många obekväma sanningar blir det. Samtidigt ser det ljust ut också. Se bara dagens inlägg från Tune In Tel Aviv där en DJ (första klippet) spelar trummor för att göra olika tracks. Vi är inne i en experiment period av musikbranschen.