I am really glad you posted Michael Lavorgna's article. It is a great example of what the purpose of a great many blogs are, to sell you on something, whethet it be an idea, product or service.
Michael Lavorgna is an audio journalist, and his particular niche is blogging for Audio Stream, Stereophile, Six Moons and others as well as writing articles about streaming services he submits to a variety of magazines such as Men's Health.
What Mr, Lavorga did was to prepare a "book report" of sorts on a data report prepared by Ajay Kalia who works over at the streaming service, Spotify. Mr. KKalia's job there is to convince people that the future of music is Spotify.
His point is that as we age we listen to less and less "popular" music. He doesn't define popular music in his article, but mentions that Spotify has ranked bands and performers, and uses his "ballsack" graph to show that we are listening to "top 500" acts in our teens and 20s and by the time of our 30s we are listening to acts who are way down at 2500. (Oldtimer, is that an industry term for that graph?). He hyperlinks an article on research that takes you here
If you read that article it says that a duplication of songs on a list of a 64-year-old man will 35% of a 13-year-old kid. Their lists will have 35% in common. The author of the research article says that he expects that the 35% overlap is an overestimate due to inaccurate age reporting, that multiple users use one account, and other factors. He acknowledges that his data is suspect and then concludes as follows:
"This quick tour through the ages confirms our thinking that the age of a listener plays a significant role in the type of music that they listen to. We can use this information to find music that is distinctive for a particular demographic. We can also use this information to help find artists that may be acceptable to a wide range of listeners. But we should be careful to consider how popularity bias may affect our view of the world. And perhaps most important of all, people don’t like music from the 70s or 80s so much."
Age plays a role in the type of music people listen to, what a revelation! This guy is a genius, what a waste of talent. He could be selecting what music could be going with commercials, movies, etc. Figure out the age of the target market of what you are trying to sell, select music that the target market listens to to grab their attention, and combine them. I think he is really on to something here.
The guy at Spotify concludes by saying this:
"All this is to say that yes, conventional wisdom is 'wisdom' for a reason. So if you’re getting older and can’t find yourself staying as relevant as you used to, have no fear — just wait for your kids to become teenagers, and you’ll get exposed to all the popular music of the day once again!"
So research guy is saying people of different ages like different music, and people don’t like 70s or 80s music (without saying how he comes up with that notion). Spotify guy tells you that you are "iirrelevant" if you want to become relevant, have kids and listen to what they listen to. Spotify guy wants you to buy Spotify for your kids and you might as well have a listen too.
None of them define what "popular" music is, other than to say that Spotify ranks the popularity of performers based on its users selection data. He gives no hint as to what percentage of users are below 30, below 20, etc. More importantly, he does not say that newer acts are always most popular, nor does he say that older bands and singers are always less pooular, but he tries to infer it because his whole misguided premise rests on this notion. He cannot say it, because in fact it is simply not true, and Spotify and Lavorgna both know that it is not true with music sales.
Lovorgna concludes his little book report by saying "I'd also recommend trying avoid "lock-in" by listening to as much new music as you can handle." Stay young, be hip, become relevant again, listen to NEW music as much as possible. Whoops, now it is new music, not popular music. Why is that do you suppose? WIth streaming services their viability depends on getting new artists to list with them so that the demand for the new stuff will increase and more subscribers can be obtained, and it gives this business model more footing. Did you see all of the advertisers Lovorgna had on his blog for hardware used in connection with streaming?
So what is popular music, is it really popular? It has to be popular with today's kids right? What else is out there, in terms of genres or classifications, and if I listen to that, how much in the minority am I? At what point am I no longer relevant?
Those really are not the right questions, the question should be is streaming relevant, do streamers, specifically Spotify customers, reflect the real musical preferences of the under 20 and under 30 American market?
The original blog post, and the "data" it was based on, are trying to sell you a bag of goods. You need to stream because it provides an easy way to stay up to speed with the popular music of today, AND, when you do stream you should do it on Spotify because we are going to be able to tell you who the hot artists are, and their hot tunes.
The trouple is, popular music isn't what the teens and twenty-somethings are mainly listening to. AND, what America is buying does not line up with what Spotify claims are the more popular artists.
Edit: For clarity, spelling and grammar of a late night dictated post.