Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros


August 29, 2006

What Music Fans Want

Over at his excellent Long Tail blog, Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson writes about the three stages of figuring out what music fans want. He quotes Tim Quirk, general manager of music content and programming at Rhapsody, who lists the following measuring sticks:

1. Airplay Charts: "Measure what people are being fed."
2. Sales Charts: "Measure what people are eating from what they're being fed."
3. Usage Charts: "Measure what, from the music people can listen to, they listen to the most."

Here are Anderson's comments regarding the three charts:

Now that people can listen to nearly anything, the third of these is the really important one. It reflects a metric that's only become available with digital distribution. What's on your iPod? What do people replay? What are they sharing? These are the metrics that really matter.

Now, perhaps for the first time in history, we can measure the real shape of demand, and thus the real shape of music culture. And it turns out that it's not what we thought it was in the Top 40 era.

Amen to that. Given real choice and diversity, truly buzz-worthy music is finding an audience -- whether it was produced by a Grammy Award-winning producer or a teenager in his bedroom.

-Bob


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