Tell me what you listen to…

I discovered last week the 100 most popular music videos on Youtube. You can see the chart by yourself or this link (for Apple devices) and make some first conclusions. We can definitely be surprised or just understand that things might go the wrong way as some obvious conclusions can be defined.

Let’s focus on the 10 most viewed videos as they say a lot about the rest of the ranking. We understand quickly that we find the people that will definitely rule the rest of the list. PSY is obviously there with ‘Gangnam Style’ which already reached almost 1/3 of our planet’s fellows – we definitely understand that people can see the videos multiple times (the Korean singer is 3 times in the top 100), Katy Perry and Taylor Swift are scoring high (5 songs each in the top 100) and then, you have the usual suspects like Justin Bieber, One Direction or Rihanna (not even in the top part of the ranking). I did not know that some of them recorded so many songs to be honest.

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If we want to analyse this ranking on a marketing basis, we have to definitely focus first on the product. As music lovers – that you probably are as well – we understand that the future of musical entertainment is definitely getting dull and boring. In the ranking, mostly 5 artists are delivering 20% of the most viewed video and the level of creativity delivered is average. They all look and feel the same, all the songs are pretty much produced and composed by the same people and are using the same ingredient-based recipes. We’ve been told since so many years that each consumer must be unique and treated with specific products to meet their expectations; this list reminds me more about Henry Ford quote about Ford T ‘Any colour – so long as it’s black’. But, hold on, don’t blame it on the consumers only. So what’s going on here?

The success of this content is mostly related to promotion and distribution – price cannot affect here as the viewing is free of charge. The performing artists are masters in making their songs a perfect content to spread and to talk about. This is where the difference is. We definitely understand that the main protagonists are young pop singers that definitely understood the importance of digital and visual impact on the consumers. They touch young target audiences and songs are definitely designed for a multiple usage as they are entertaining and not really disturbing parallel activities (parties, procrastinating on Internet as a music background, working on your science exams…). We have a spectrum of artists that use wisely new technologies and platforms where they can create awareness and penetration. We have also the impact of a clear strategy of creation of movement (we can use the triptych ignite-unite-sustain to understand the power of their strategy around each songs or albums). They are developing strong symbolic values and references to create a community that delivers high interests, high-standards following and fan base excitement. Those interesting observations are clearly reflected on Youtube in our case. And this is just a piece of an integrated eco-system that they create from the beginning of their (successful) career.

Their approach to music is not focused on talent or instrumental prouesse but on their deep understanding of breakthrough and integrated marketing strategies. You like it or not. Marketing prevails. And it might create an homogeneous feeling in an industry of creativity. Maybe we have to think it over to see how to bring diversity and eclecticism. We might need them very soon. So, spread the lyrics out.



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