Monday, September 28, 2015

Cross-generational marketing and music

As I noted recently, I don’t listen to much music nowadays, though I did in the 1980s.

I would also be unable to name five current Gen Y music stars, even if my life depended on it.

But I do know who Taylor Swift is. Why is that?

A few years ago, Taylor Swift did a series of concerts with Def Leppard. For those of you who are under 35, Def Leppard was one of the most popular rock acts of the 1980s.

I discovered Taylor Swift when I searched for Def Leppard videos on YouTube a while back, during one of my occasional music-listening binges. That led me to check out some of Taylor Swift’s music videos. (Hey, she’s cute, and she can sing.)

I would wager that I wasn't the only over-40 person to discover Taylor Swift through her tie-in with Def Leppard.

If you’re a young music act and you want to reach 40-something music fans, then a good strategy would be to play joint performances with bands that 40-somethings will be sure to recognize. (And a lot of those rock acts from the 1980s are still going concerns.) This is exactly what Taylor Swift did.

Now Taylor Swift has done a joint performance with Mick Jagger, whose fan base is even older than Def Leppard’s.

Is this part of a systematic marketing plan to specifically expand her market share beyond the youth demographic? I can’t say for sure; Taylor and I don’t talk much nowadays.

But this might be a factor in her actually selling so much music. Older music listeners still frequently buy music instead of streaming it or obtaining it for free from online pirate sites. So you if you are an aspiring musician, the over-40 market might be worth more money to you than the youth market.

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