The Kids Are Alright
New music isn't dead; it's just changed form.
In a recent article for The Atlantic, Ted Gioia asked if old music was killing new music.
He didn’t waste any time burying the lede, either; the article’s subtitle states that “old songs” represent 70% of the US music market.
The 200 most popular new tracks now regularly account for less than 5 percent of total streams. That rate was twice as high just three years ago. The mix of songs actually purchased by consumers is even more tilted toward older music. The current list of most-downloaded tracks on iTunes is filled with the names of bands from the previous century, such as Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Police.
In his article, Gioia presents plenty of data to lay out his argument. He does a great job showing the what. That led me to ask “why.” While I don’t have anywhere near the empirical data he does, I have some ideas.
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