The Cadence: Who's Got The Keys To Bruce's Jeep?
by Joshua Glazer & Chris Monaco
Forget Grammy night, SXSW conference and Coachella weekend. The true barometer of where things are at in the American music mindset can be found on Super Bowl Sunday.
The Weeknd’s self-contained performance, complete with claustrophobic funhouse and Siouxsie & The Banshees sample, was the perfect anti-spectacle after almost a year in quarantine, while the subtext of Eric Church and Jasmine Sullivan performing the national anthem was a reminder that when we did hit the streets in 2020, it was for racial justice.
Sadly, it seems Jeep missed the memo about inclusivity with its much-debated Bruce Springsteen commercial that implied “the middle” of America 2021 is still represented by a rural church in Kansas.
This metaphorical miss overshadowed the fact that the commercial was the first time in his 50-year-career that The Boss cashed a corporate check. One more indicator that the artists who serve as economic engines are now open to new ways of keeping the money moving, not just for themselves but for the volumes of people that work with them.
The times, they are a-changin'.
We can only assume that’s the reason Dolly Parton jeopardized her current status as everyone’s favorite senior citizen who isn’t named Betty White to turn her working-class anthem “9-to-5” into a disheartening call to burnout-by-side hustle for Squarespace.
Smart brands can usually sniff out artists who are having a mass appeal moment, even if those brands don’t always know what to do with them. That’s why ads with Post Malone (Bud Light), Lil Nas X (Logitech), Lenny Kravitz (Stella Artois), Nick Jonas (Dexcom), Lil Baby (Rockstar Energy) all failed to make much noise outside of the broadcast. Only Cardi B stood out, although her playing along with the exhumed Wayne’s World schtick for Uber Eats left us with some DAP.
Thank goodness, then, for Shaggy, whose lyrical invasion of Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher’s marriage for Cheetos was the true Super Bowl LV VIP.
The most salient statements from recent industry articles.
The latest drop by MRC Data (formerly Nielsen SoundScan and Nielsen Music Products) is pure fire—if you consider free trials of ad-free streams of happy/upbeat music for calming meditation and working from home to be fire.
Takeaway: Many live streamers do not stay tuned in for the full event, suggesting shorter concerts can boost engagement.
Here’s hoping someone at Universal Music Group reads the stat about shorter livestreams since the world’s largest music company just made its first official foray into the field along with Korean music company YG Entertainment.
Takeaway: While concert livestreaming’s newfound relevance can be heavily attributed to the health crisis, many artists, managers and booking agents have said that the concept will remain in artists’ plans well past the pandemic, either as standalone shows or to stream some of their concerts while on tour.
BTS at Bang Bang Con: The Live CREDIT: Big Hit Entertainment
No word yet if it will it be like OnlyFans for artists or Twitch tips. But any move beyond the pro-rata model could be promising.
Takeaway: Unlike other major streaming services, SoundCloud has the ability to explore the new payment system without alerting or gaining approvals from major record companies.
Photo by Tyler Casey on Unsplash
Seth Troxler tries to keep up with Dr. Cornel West when discussing the place of house in the larger experience of black music.
Takeaway: “Kenosis, brother, k-e-n-o-s-i-s! Empty yourself. You got to give of yourself. If you're going to be cold and distant and indifferent, you're in the wrong space.” - Dr. Cornel West