Boomer Music Industry

Was browsing an American Baby Boomer site – Aging Hipsters – and came across a link to an interesting article by Jeff Leeds  in the New York Times – titled Rock of Ages.  Scrolling through, I picked out the stuff on music industry trends – you might be interested ..

“The graying of the music market crept up on America. Even during the ascent of Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys in the late 1990s, when teen sensations were getting all the attention, consumers 45 and older were the industry’s biggest market, according to survey data compiled by the Recording Industry Association of America. The gap has only widened since then. Last year fans 45 and older accounted for 25.5 percent of sales, while older teenagers (a group more prone to music piracy) represented less than 12 percent. So it’s little wonder that Rod Stewart’s raspy remakes of pop standards emerged as a franchise, or that Bob Dylan in September captured the No. 1 spot on the Billboard chart for the first time in 30 years.

The trick is that conventional marketing techniques don’t always work with this group (if they work with anyone anymore). Older listeners don’t have much interest in traditional commercial radio, which targets children and young adults, as do TV channels like VH1 and MTV. And they don’t spend much time in traditional record stores.  [ … ]

But perhaps the most surprising results have been online, where the over-50 set accounted for almost 24 percent of the industry’s Internet sales, according to NPD Group, a market-research company.

While these consumers didn’t grow up with the Internet, they have grown comfortable with using it, at least to order CDs if not download music in digital form. All of that helps account for why’s recent Top 10 included Mr. Bennett’s hit “Duets: An American Classic” CD, the new collaboration from J. J. Cale and Eric Clapton, and holiday albums from James Taylor and Bette Midler, while over at iTunes, the best sellers were rap hits from the Game, Akon and the pop-punk band Plus-44.”


Filed under The Music of Life

2 responses to “Boomer Music Industry

  1. Thanks for your interest and acknowledgment Graham – yes, a complex industry now – and exciting too, the new challenges & opportunities!

    I love focusing on my generation for two reasons: firstly because it’s such a refreshing change from my focus up until now, which was children’s music, and secondly because of the pure indulgence and enjoyment of expressing what is going on in my life, at last. If I was just a 60yr old try-hard would-be rock star competing for the mainstream 20-something year old audience, it would be ridiculous!!!! This way, I can be out front about having the dream of playing rock music, (a dream which so many boomers have, and have not been able to live out). But I can authentically give it a go, as I’m not pretending to be someone I’m not: I’m just as amused as everyone else! Hopefully there’ll be millions of us living out that dream through Baby Boomer Girl – watch this space!

  2. Interesting stuff. It emphasizes how important it is to find and focus on the right demographic. It used to be easier when there was only a couple of radio and TV stations. If you got on TV or radio everyone heard you, but now there are so many broadcasters in so many formats that getting on the ‘air’ means little – you are only reaching a small sector of the market. Baby Boomer Girl is doing well in focusing on her switched on generation and using the internet as a primary marketing tool. Go for it BBGirl!

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