Friday, April 11, 2008

Future Music

Jillian Cohan has an article in The American that notes that the biggest touring acts are all aging, and wonders where the music industry is going to get it's future cash cows. I think they're going to have to realize that those 60s-70's bands carved followings from a Boomer population that was a freak of demographics. Not only is the music business fragmenting, but the sheer size of the consumer market isn't going to be what it was. Music as a big financial business is a relatively recent phenomenon, and it just isn't going to be a license to print money anymore.
I think Disney is showing one model by developing acts through their various enterprises.

It's also worth noting that those old acts are exceptional, the ones who managed to keep it together long enough for their fans to accumulate the money to spend on those tours. There will be others: it'll just take time.

1 comment:

Brian said...

I guess the question is, what's the contemporary equivalent of 80s hair rock, because those are the guys who seem to be raking it in right now, especially if you extend the definition back to include bands like Journey and REO Speedwagon. Who are the hitmakers? I'll bet that in 20 years, if they still want to do it, Radiohead and Coldplay and Nine Inch Nails will be selling out venues to our kids, and their kids will be laughing at them for going.

You notice who's missing, with only some slight exceptions? Women acts. Heart can barely get a gig, though I'd put them up against REO Speedwagon any day. Madonna just inked a new deal, but I swear, she's a robot, not a human (and I mean that with the greatest respect), but you don't see many women, either solo or fronting old bands, out on tour, and certainly not at big venues, even though I'd go see Stevie Nicks in a heartbeat. Or the Go-Go's. Or Siouxsie Sioux or any of the others from that era.