Lynetter keeps up the good work finding that 3 accounts for 20% of all UK digital music sales, second only behind iTunes.  Considering 3 is one of half a dozen mobile service providers [others being Orange, Vodaphone, O2, T-Mobile, Virgin], I’d say that’s a hell of a lot of 18-24 3 users buying downloads.  Students perhaps without a broadband connection in rented accommodation using mobile to mange their music collection? Odd, Interesting. 

Do people not mind having their music ‘stuck’ [getting tracks off the 3 network phone isn't easy - I've tried]?  How is the experience shared, if at all?  What are the cues for buying if, as she says they’re travelling when most of the downloads are bought at around 10pm: public radio, noise, boredom, communications [txts from mates, referrals]? And it points the way for 3 to design a service that exposes some of this mobile consumption data for friends, buddies etc. to create systems around, or perhaps create an app that ties into lastfm and work with them to create playouts for music trial or ping friends with 30sec promo tunes [30 sec are deemed to be promos and you don;t pay royalties, which in this instance is a nice way to kick of short almost synchronous comms]. 

Moreover, if 18-24 audiences are you audience on public transport, then that offers some great opportunities for the brand to communicate… perhaps by exposing most popular downloads in a given area or in another area – i.e. give it a geographical dimension to push navigation into the 500+ tracks; have a location based system of tracks ["you've just entered ** service area and the recommended tune is **** based on what others have downloaded here"] which would be great if, as we’re led to believe downloads are on public transport routes – nodes of music consumption.  The route to Chelsea vs the route to Holloway?

Link: Guardian Unlimited | Arts news | Arctic Monkeys climbing high – thanks to the net.

I’m only mentioning this because it concerns Sheffield.  And I’m now warming to the place having been here 3 months and want to BIG IT UP.

Anyway, the Grauniad and Demos alerted me to the tale of the Artic Monkeys a band from Sheffield who until the 17th of this month [Oct.] hadn’t released a single but due to the power of their live act and buzz generated about them on t’internet they played to an audience of over 2000 in London @ The Astoria on the 6th with tickets trading at 10* face value.  The audience even knew the words of the their forthcoming single and sang along. 

Their gigs are all sold out and Last.fm doesn’t even have any of their tunes to stream yet – so I don’t even know if their any good [though I'm hoping some .alt fan might lend me the sounds - usenet still lives you know]! The lack of anything substantive makes the hype around this band all the more intriguing [although I seem to remember the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs having a similar buzz and that soon died when people could actually hear their songs and realised they were pretty shit average].   

Anyway, word of mouth is so much stronger on the net innit.  And all good things come out of Sheffield don’t you know… "pass it on"… :-P

Been conducting some informal research of late about radio consumption and the one thing that keeps getting mentioned as the main driver for radio is the opportunity to find new bands, tunes etc.  that you would not otherwise find out about [unless you have an array of friends who are all heavily into different musical genres]. 

The other main thing I’ve noticed amongst those I’ve spoken to is that people when asked to express a favourite musical genre, couldn’t.  They reeled off names of bands, traversing the traditional boundaries of genre.  Then they invariably said their musical tastes were "eclectic". 

If this small sample of the listening public were representative [and frankly, does it matter? ] radio stations [channels, whatever] should be being brave and playing a more eclectic mix. However, more and more stations, let alone programmes are now becoming more niche [though BBC 6 Music is pretty varied].  That is a result of the long tail phenomenon I guess, though broadcast radio costs are relatively low which has meant there’s always been a lot of radio stations catering to niche audiences [both geographically and editorially], only now there are more – look at the ultra-local radio stations around on restricted licenses [e.g. Malibu FM for 28 days only in Newquay!] and very niche online ‘radio’.  But this plethora of niche or ‘narrow’ stations would then make you think that people would shift around more programmes and radio stations to get the variety they obviously like? But from the research I did [and it was all quick and dirty] people only had a repertoire of two or three they could name and actively listened to. 

Odd, no?  So perhaps there is a paradox here. Perhaps in the drive to define ourselves and be defined by what we consume the producers of media are pigeon-holing us when what we want is more variety and eclecticism in the mix. 

What we could be seeing of course is the move toward a unique expression of a myriad of influences.  We are no longer ‘mods’ or ‘rockers’ or member of different ‘tribes’ but seek to draw upon a wide variety of influences to find and express our own unique ‘me’.   

My initial research seems to be backed up by Neo-Radio in the States which has cottoned on to this desire for more eclectic playlists:

A new style of commercial FM radio station
– based on eclectic music and informed commentary — represents a
backlash against the rest of the industry’s consolidation, narrow
playlists, and copycat sounds. Stations that have tried the new format
have shot up the charts.

Be interesting to see what happens over here. 

Goldie Lookin’ Chain have now got my respect [woo!]. Their humour passed my by with the snippets I heard on the radio.  But this post on Metafilter by Major Curly has alerted me to their obvious class, which is kind of ironic as the Guardian pans them for being classist [I find The Grauniad intolerably PC these days].

Moreover, their web presence is fabulous.  It’s garish.  It’s flash [literally, and I hate Flash], but it’s fun, funny and offers up the goods with a selection of videos, tracks and the usual gubbins.

One of the comments on the post [from longbaugh] brings out the humour, quoting the lyrics to "You knows I love you Baby" – kinda of gangsta rap parody, as most of their tunes are:

"I’m for real – it ain’t no quirk

My love is lurking the way a rapist would lurk
In a bush, or a car park in town

I bought you this necklace
It cost me 12 pounds

From Argos, Elizabeth Duke

Maybe you’re the skywalker to my luke

The Darth to the Vader

Flip Over the Crossfader

I’ll serenade you with a bag of space raiders

Or walkers or smiths or maybe even quavers

‘Cos my love for you is like drugs for ravers

With glowsticks and funny hats on

I loves you more than I loves my bong"

He adds,

For bonus points go to Argos where you can find the delightful Elizabeth Duke jewellery range where you can use "chav" in the search engine to find a lovely Goldie Looking Chain.
Cha-ching!

Nice :-)

<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/3961979.stm">BBC NEWS | Programmes | Newsnight | Mark E Smith on John Peel</a>

Newsnight’s tribute to John Peel, a wholly soporific affair, was enlivened by the musings of M E Smith.  My transcript differs slightly from the official one: 

Gavin Esler: "The bit Mark that is amazing just to listen to that tribute of him by Robin Deneslaw’s film, is that everybody from of T-Rex onwards, every generation, seems to find something or he seems to find something for every generation, including The Fall."
Mark E Smith: "Yeah, am I allowed to speak now? 
GE: "Yeah go ahead"
ME Smith: "Yeah, whatever.  What are you the new dj, now?"
GE: "yeah, probably" [Mark smugly gurning in the background].

Peel would have approved.

28/10 Ah, just found appropriate pic.  You can imagine the newsnight audience recalling in horror….

Markesmith_1