Hello, I'm
Matthew Romo (1660) from Group 2. The other embers of my group are Harry Kettenis (0390), Josh Stevenson (0796) and Ysabel Hudson-Searle (0331).

Hopefully navigation should not be an issue on my blog; 'labels' on the right hand side near the top will direct you to groups of posts from specific areas. Research and Planning, Production, and Evaluation work should all be available to see under their respective A2 labels. The other labels will direct you to work from my AS level and preliminary activities for A2.

Also, by clicking on the "Latymer Music Video Blog" link above the labels, you can go back to Latymer's main music video blog where all other blogs from my class can be accessed.

Finally, I hope you enjoy observing and assessing my work as much as I did creating it.

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Monday, 8 December 2014

Current Trends and Gaps in the Market

Producing something completely original in the music industry today is widely considered impossible, and rightly so. Previous decades' styles of music have been reinvented and marketed to new audiences or in new ways.

A trend I have noticed is bands with older members forming or reforming and releasing music videos as this media of music promotion was far less common in their early years or twenties. Red Fang are a good example of this, a heavy metal band comprised of middle-aged men only forming in 2009, unusually late in life for a band to enter the music scene or reinvent themselves. There is more scope for bands to find their audience and achieve recognition due to the exponentially broadening avenues to market their music, especially the creation of YouTube in 2005 which now hundreds of thousands of songs and music videos of all types can be found, those with even tens of millions of views easily in the thousands.

Middle aged audiences who are more likely to relate to and connect with bands with older members are one of the main target audiences for music festivals such as Glastonbury, where 'Dinosaur Jr' played in 2014. These festivals have become larger through the years achieving great commercial success, and particularly for ones like Glastonbury this can be attributed to their ability to target multiple audiences through a huge variety of styles and eras of music.
Dinosaur Jr were performing between 1984 and 1997 before reforming in 2005, now having access to promoting themselves via infinitely more platforms such as social media.

Despite this interesting trend I am unlikely to use it as major inspiration, simply because I have far less knowledge of the audience by growing up in a different era. Technology such as the ever expanding internet, web 2.0 and social media will still however play a huge role in promoting my artist in this project, but most likely for teenagers/young adults.

Hard rock has also made a huge comeback in the UK with bands like Drenge forming in 2011 Royal Blood in 2013, whose eponymous debut album reached number 1 in both UK and Ireland. I have also observed bands such as the Arctic Monkeys changing their style, either realising the changing trends in music popularity or contributing to them with their own enormous popularity. Their latest album, AM, released 2013 furthered their transition into the hard rock style, with flagship songs such as 'R U Mine' and 'Arabella'  moving away from their fast paced, garage/indie post punk rock roots.

These bands are closer to the potential artist I might create as part of this project, largely due to being in their core audience.

Despite US born music being immensely popular in the UK, for example mainstream artists like Eminem, Beyonce and Justin Timberlake, UK artists accounted for 60% of the Top 40 album sales and 80% of the Top 10, indicating our exports are successful enough to not be dominated by overseas competition. Promoters of music such as Simon Cowell play an important role in this with reality TV, in particular The X Factor, giving birth to Olly Murs, Sam Smith, and international pop sensations One Direction. Its involvement in popular culture today is undeniable, with 9 out of the 10 above artists having either been a contestant or performed on the show, the Arctic Monkeys being the anomaly, with lead singer Alex Turner slamming the show, saying it churns out "sh**y pop music". They break the mould in more ways than one, their past 5 albums (every album they have released) going straight to number 1, which has never been done before right from a debut album. AM  was the second fastest selling album of the year behind Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, selling 157,000 copies in its first week, making history as they fight for the place of independent artists in success.

As I would have expected, the 3 highest selling genres are currently dance, rock, and pop. I expect this due to what I observe people around me to be listening to. Although there is always a strong correlation however, most sales does not always show exactly what is the most popular - certain genres may be more likely to be illegally downloaded. Pop and rock are often more commercial in recent years whereas so much of dance music is quite underground despite this scene being huge. Some artists like Daft Punk have been huge in the dance genre but the increase in popularity shown by the table below could be down to artists like Duke Dumont and Disclosure breaking out into the mainstream recently. There is also a fine line between some dance and pop music, making analysis less simple than face value.

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