By popular demand (a couple of emails, three comments, and a half dozen “likes”), it's another trip inside the JacoBLOG junk drawer. The idea is to dig up stuff that doesn't really merit a full-length post.
We've got some good stuff for you today – stories that'll give you something to to talk about at the football game or barbeque this weekend. Are you ready? Let's rummage!
Item #1: Spotify playlists run amok – Last month, it was Spotify's exclusive deal with Delta Airlines to control music in the sky. In today's drawer of junk, Spotify emerges again, this time as a creative outlet.
Spotify users enjoy the freedom and creativity to create their own unique theme-based playlists. But now this trend has reached a new level. But we're not talking about the simple sets of music you hear on the radio – “Songs About Color.” No, these are much more adventurous. And yes, even a bit twisted.
You can access them on a Twitter page called @weirdspotify – and scroll to your heart's content. A lot of the entries take odd sentences and line up aptly-titled songs that tell that story. Like this one:
— Weird Spotify Playlists (@weirdspotify) August 12, 2021
Ridiculous right? It's so dumb the page has attracted more followers than your radio station probably has – 525,000 and climbing. Scrolling through these bizarre playlists is strangely addicting. It reminds me of a music stunt we suggested to several stations – “The Last Letter Game.” But “Weird Spotify Playlists” is more like “3-Dimensional Chess.”
How else to explain this playlist: “Rappers With Memory Problems.”
Item #2: Is anybody purchasing CDs anymore? For its 17th heavy metal album release last month, Iron Maiden tried a different marketing strategy – selling physical copies of their newest album, Senjutsu uses CDs to make a sales impact. This is a band that's gotten precious little radio airplay over the years. And when it comes to streaming, Maiden makes very little impact on Spotify.
But they've got a rabid fan base. And for this 3-record set, Iron Maiden believed this project would produce music its followers would want to own – not just stream. Their calculation paid off.
According to Rolling Stone, 90% of the album's initial sales were physical, albums and CDs. They created 15,000 special edition CDs for Target, 10,000 limited-edition red vinyl albums for Walmart, and posters for independent record stores.
Maiden's retail strategy ripped several pages out of the band's '80s playbook. They knew going on radio would not get the job done. And the band's management company, Phantom Music Management's Dave Shack diagrammed the band's game plan:
“Rod [Smallwood, the band’s longtime manager] wrote the rulebook back in the Eighties. He realized quickly that this isn’t a band getting airplay on the radio, so he decided to focus on retail. While other people were fawning over the promo guys, he was getting close with people going to retail, merchandising it.”
By the way, the loose translation of “Senjutsu” in Japanese?
Tactics and strategies.
Well played, guys.
Item #3: Are you a nomophobe? As if there aren't enough diseases and conditions out there, this is a new one. And there's no sure-cure miracle drug or vaccine that's known to work. In fact, the only remedy for nomophobia is self-control or a running out of power.
You're a nomophone if you're addicted to your smartphone. For several years running, we asked Techsurvey respondents to make a self-diagnosis. And somewhere in the neighborhood of a third smartphone owners came clean. Admitted nomophobes tended to be female and Millennial.
A story in The Conversation says the pandemic may have amplified the addiction.
It quotes one study that claims smartphone usage jumped by 70% early on in the COVID outbreak. A more recent study out of Canada points to a 40% hike in mobile users spending more time on their iPhones and Pixels.
Item #4: Happy Birthday, “Big Classic!” In case you missed it last month, Wendy's had a milestone anniversary. It's been 35 years since they debuted their “Big Classic” way back in 1986.
That event was meaningful to me. No, I didn't eat them, but product branding using the “classic” handle reinforced that Classic Rock was, in fact, a good name for the music and the format.
In September 1986, Wendy’s introduced its Big Classic hamburger pic.twitter.com/sudiqrcs75
— RetroNewsNow (@RetroNewsNow) September 12, 2021
The trend started with Classic Coke – the antidote that turned around the New Coke debacle – in 1985. Earlier that year, I finally landed my first FM client for the Classic Rock format, WMMQ in Lansing. The timing was fortuitous. The word “classic” started appearing on all sorts of products, from detergents, to canned foods to deodorant to salad dressing. I amassed a collection of these products during those early years of the format, creating a rather large shelf of classic-branded products.
I should probably check their expiration dates.
The more “classic” appeared just about everywhere, the more I became convinced the word stood for timelessness and quality – attributes that signals a product is built to last. Thirty-six years later, so far, so good.
Item #5: The Super Bowl is returning to an ensemble halftime show. Last year's extravaganza starring The Weeknd didn't go as well as the NFL had perhaps hoped.
This time around, the Super Bowl LVI halftime show features five heavyweight artists; Dr. Dre, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, and Kendrick Lamar. Between them, you're looking at 43 Grammy Awards, and 22 #1 selling albums.
This star-studded mini-concert will obviously bring a much-needed mainstream appeal. Consider this: these five legends average just over 47 years of age, with Kendrick Lamar being the baby of the group (34 years-old), while the good Dr. Dre clocks in at 56.
They will take the SoFi Stadium field on Super Bowl Sunday – February 13 – to see the surprising Buffalo Bills take on the L.A. Rams and Matt Stafford, who will enjoy a rare home field advantage.
Item #6: How do rock stars kill time on the road? They walk into a bar and have a beer – just like we do.
Except when you're Mick Jagger, it's impossible to inconspicuously stroll into a drinking establishment, without being mobbed by autograph seekers, paparazzi, and rabid fans. There's simply no privacy when you're out in public, especially when you're traveling without your posse and bodyguards.
Out and about last night in Charlotte, NC pic.twitter.com/BWssvivAII
— Mick Jagger (@MickJagger) September 30, 2021
The next round's on me.
- The Power of Music Passion - October 21, 2021
- Addressing My Car Radio Paranoia 3: Let's Fix It - October 20, 2021
- Radio's Car Radio Paranoia 2:What If Eric Rhoads Was Right? - October 19, 2021