After three of the weirdest, most discombobulating months in recent American history, summer officially ended yesterday— though it may not feel like it. Yet autumn’s arrival does allow us to close at least one matter, and that’s this year’s song of the summer: that one tune that, for better or worse, dominated June through September and attains an inescapability in the spaces of barbecues, theme parks, pool parties. Call it, maybe.
Online daters: if your music tastes tend toward the embarrassing, it might be time to clean up your Spotify account. Starting this week, Tinder users will be able to see their potential matches' most-played songs on Spotify. The songs will be displayed on the profiles of Tinder users who opt to link their Spotify accounts and will also offer the option to post your favorite song under a new "Anthems" section. The songs will play within the Tinder app when tapped. Love and hip hop.
We love Jason Silva, in the right doses. Whether you're watching Brain Games, or his Shots of Awe on YouTube, the guy is fun to listen to and watch - and he's able to ignite a thirst for wonder about the world around us (and within us) with his short videos. In any case, his latest Shot of Awe talks about the power of music, which is an inescapable topic as we all create branded content, commercials, sponsored playlists - and it's easy to see how important music is to the world - it's the top-searched term, far and away, on YouTube. So, settle in, and take a shot to the noggin with Jason for a moment, and then go find some Zeppelin - or whatever you're into - and have a great afternoon :) Watch Jason Silva's "Why Music Makes Us Feel" on YouTube Watch "Why Music Makes Us Feel" on YouTube
It's true. There will be no such thing as a single-use device dedicated to playing digital music in 3-5 years. You should save up your old iPods and Zunes (RIP) and keep them in nice working order for the folks that will want to buy them on eBay in 2035. There hasn't been any significant improvements to the MP3 player market since the introduction of the high-capacity flash drive, 3 years ago. The thing that stinks is that there is no current device that makes playing and listening to digital music 8-10 hours a day, a practical habit. Technically, you could use your phone. Technically, you could use your computer. And technically, you could use your tablet. However, none of these are good, mobile solutions with long battery life. Within two years, you (yes, YOU) will have a multi-dimension device that acts as a cloud-based computer, phone/messaging/email device, and as an entertainment hub (think tablet but smaller and multi-dimensional). There will be exponential growth in battery life over the next 18 months with the addition of energy-efficient processors and equipment architecture, giving these multi-purpose devices 7+ days of battery life, instead of a mere few hours. So if you're an MP3 player junkie, you'll have to tough it out for a while until everyone's future devices start arriving on store shelves at the end of 2012. And yes, I already miss the Zune.
As someone who has spent the majority of my life around music, I recently wondered what it would be like if artists sacrificed their artistic integrity to make their songs more searchable within search engines. Call me a dork, but yes, this thought actually entered my brain and it intrigued me enough to write a blog about it. This idea would be terrible for musical integrity, but it would be great for sales and artist related search traffic. So I thought about what some of the more popular music related search terms might be, and the first thing that came to mind was 'love song.'? Maybe it's because I just got married, maybe it's because Valentine's Day just passed, or maybe it's because I recently sang a karaoke version of 'Endless Love'? with our office manager Patty. Regardless of the reason, after researching the search volume of the term 'love song,'? I discovered that there are 2,240,000 monthly searches for that exact term across the world. When you think of artists who made their living off love, who comes to mind? Luther Vandross? Lionel Ritchie? While I'm sure many of today's 20-30 year olds were probably conceived to the music of these two men, neither Luther or Lionel were ever smart (or simple) enough to have a hit single called 'Love Song.'? So naturally I asked, "who HAS had a single called 'Love Song'"? The only 3 artists that came to mind were The Cure, Sara Bareilles, and 80's rockers Tesla. After doing a quick Google search for the term 'love song,'? videos and lyrics for all 3 of these songs showed up on the first page of Google. That is pretty amazing considering the high search volume, and the number of popular love songs that exist. Tesla also had an album called 'Bust a Nut,'? but that's a different search for a different day, on a different computer. Give them some slack'?¦it was the 80's. Tesla just might have predicted SEO would be huge while they were just learning Prodigy! Sara Bareilles may have struck SEO gold with 'Love Song,'? but she sure didn't gain any SEO points by keeping that last name. How many people do you really think can spell Bareilles? I know I had to look it up! Note to Sara: There's probably a reason why Lady Gaga doesn't go by Stefani Germanotta. How about going by Sara Ellis? Just a thought'?¦
For those like me who love music as much as they love marketing, last week marked the sad passing of what was once a groundbreaking new video game: Guitar Hero. On February 9th, Activision announced it will be shutting down its music game division, home to the Guitar Hero series of video games. Activision also announced the lay off of about 7% of the company's workforce and discontinuation of game development slated for 2011. While there is speculation about the causes of the layoff and discontinuing of the music game offerings, many point to one culprit: oversaturation. In the years following Guitar Hero's initial release the music game genre exploded into it the current offerings of Guitar Hero I, II & III, Rock Band, Band Hero, DJ Hero and Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. In just five years, wallets drained and living rooms across the nation began to look more like a Guitar Center then a room in the family home. Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg highlights the company's inability to make the games profitable, largely due to current economies and consumer demand. Despite the reasons for Guitar Hero's end, it will have a great impact on those who used the music games as a marketing channel, particularly independent record labels. From across the continent I can hear my friends weeping. Not only for the loss of new games to incorporate into the monthly beer-fueled, Guitar Hero rock-a-thons, but for the lost opportunities to market their new artists to millions of potential album and concert ticket purchasing fans. It is this tight group of musicians and independent record labels who will be the most deeply impacted by the loss of the marketing opportunities presented by music genre games. When it first appeared in 2005, Guitar Hero developers at Red Octane and Harmonix Music Systems offered low cost opportunities to independent record labels and bands to appear on video game soundtracks. Record labels jumped at the chance to market artists using a new channel with a large potential reach. Today, Guitar Hero has shipped over 25 million units, having put budding indie bands like Attack! Attack!, Band of Skulls, Amon Amarth and countless others into the hands of fans that might not necessarily hear them. In the wake of this loss, I'd like to hope the developers will find new homes, fans will retreat to their Rock Band guitars and drum sets, and just as they always have, independent record labels will search out the newest (often gratis) ways to market bands to the masses.