I’m usually thinking of my band most of the time; ways to acquire new fans, get more people listening and more people to our gigs. One of the things we’ve been waiting patiently for is our album to arrive on Spotify. Spotify is an application not to dissimilar from iTunes in appearance, that allows you to stream music of your choice for free with an advert played every couple of songs. It’s quite a good idea to get people listening to new music without resorting to illegal file sharing. Having music readily available like that is useful when people read about you, see your video on YouTube or read a review somewhere and immediately want to check you out.
As part of my exploration of music marketing, I wanted to speak to those of the younger generation who will ultimately decide the fate of the future of music whether they realise it or not. I wanted to speak to people who were born as cassette tapes were being phased out, high-speed internet became widely available and the music industry entering sticky times; people who aren’t old enough to remember getting all their music news from Kerrang, NME or your own glossy weapon of choice. The kids I spoke to listen to such a broad and impressive range of bands ranging from stuff I listen to like Metallica and Alice in Chains to bands I’ve never heard of such as A Skylit Drive and Hadouken.
What I really wanted to know was, how do they discover these bands? Where do they listen to music and how do they obtain it? The internet has changed so dramatically over the last 10 years I’ve barely kept up. I was awaiting some really amazing responses. Maybe a blog they follow? Maybe some amazing viral internet campaigns? I found their responses somewhat surprising and yet at the same time not so.
When I asked where they discovered the music they listen to, answers were typically ‘through friends’, ‘my Dad’ and ‘music TV channels’. Eh? What is this, the eighties? People talking to each other about music? Music channels? Surely teenagers only communicate through Facebook and twitter, writing ‘lol’ even when they’re not laughing.
Okay, so how do they listen to music? ‘Borrow CDs from friend’, ‘Torrent’, ‘YouTube’… Do you use Spotify? ‘No’. I asked many kids this question and hardly any of them do.
What seems apparent then, is that even though technology has changed and continues to change in amazing ways, the next generation of music listeners are still just as human as we are. Remember that when you’re promoting your band.