The Cosmic Consciousness of Music
“We must all hang together, or, most assuredly we shall all hang separately… Benjamin Franklin
He was probably right – it is certainly the nature of the human race to associate with each other, to “hang together”. There is no difference in music. Music serves to unify the masses and the continuing exercise of searching for niches within niches or the chase after the long tail continues to be the industry’s downfall by simply going against nature.
There are of course those in the industry that continue to pursue the big markets. These guys are often associated with the old school. Truth be told, they are the ones who will probably drive the music industry forwards into a more profitable world. In theory everyone is going after the same markets but there are some who seek to unify segments into major markets while others search vainly for success in the long tail. .
Greatest success in the industry has almost always come from those artists who were able to unify the masses and that simply hasn’t changed and probably never will. PopScores shows exactly that, month by month. Only very few people are remotely interested in the millions of tracks that are available through subscription services like Napster or Spotify. It can’t work. Let’s learn from YouTube. The reason YouTube works so well is because they got the model right of how people want to view videos. YouTube runs “playlists” with a few featured videos and then there are the “most viewed”, which is a “cosmic audience conscious” or at least a chart that measures what the majority of people is “into” right now.
It’s not the billion daily views that essentially generates the hype. Surely it doesn’t hurt to have practically everything available, however, much has changed since the early days of YouTube, and there are many clips that are not available on YouTube anymore and yet the traffic stats are not in decline. When one studies PopScores, one can see that there is a “group consciousness” in the UK that shows unified audiences for some artists and it is the job of the Music Industry to continue to find those artists and songs that speak the language of the masses.
The newer artists within the cosmic consciousness of music are strongly embedded in the British public’s heart. The Kings Of Leon, Snow Patrol, Kaiser Chiefs, Pink and The Killers are currently achieve scores that are usually only within the realm of long established artists. However, these are not new artists. It takes more than just one platinum plus selling album to establish this level of emotional connection.
The big movements this week come from artists on their way to the top of the British consciousness. The Black Eyed Peas have another striking record on the radio and their PopScore rose by a strong 2 points with the strongest advance in the 30+ female market which bodes well for album sales. The Peas have been around long enough to get the level of connection that we understand as credibility and trust. To be fair they are not too far away, currently ranking as the 12th most popular artist in the UK.
The highest climb this month was achieved by Michael Jackson, as the news of his death sank in deeper. During the month his PopScore rose by 5 points, the largest climb in a single month we have ever seen for any artist. He now ranks as the 11th most popular artist in the UK. The increase of affection comes from across the board of demos.
Remarkably, Michael Jackson is now the 4th most popular artist with teenagers; a considerable achievement given that he is surrounded by artists like Kings Of Leon, Black Eyed Peas, Pink, The Killers and Beyonce Knowles, all of whom are much younger than him. Michael makes it near the top spot with 20-29 year olds, claiming number 2 position, just behind the Kings Of Leon. The most difficult segments for Michael Jackson are ironically the 30-39 year olds who rank him at nr 20 and the 40-49 year olds who rank him at 28 and his own age group, the 50-59 year olds who rank him 36th.
To get an idea of how this compares to last year, in November 08, Michael Jackson ranked position 54th overall!
Last but not least Beyonce’s visibility has also made a positive change. She advanced another 2 points, most of the additional affection coming from females 20-39. She’s had a good run of hit records in recent months which is naturally paying off now.