Contemporary music continues to lose relative popularity

The latest report shows that the consumption of old music grew another 14% during the first half of 2022, while demand for new music declined an additional 1.4%. These old tunes now represent a staggering 72% of the market.

And it’s likely to get worse when the full year numbers are released—because we are still in the midst of the Kate Bush/Metallica phenomenon spurred by the showcasing of their old songs on Stranger Things.

If this were just a short term blip of nostalgia caused by a popular TV show, I might ignore these numbers. But every other bit of market research tells the same story.

A number of recent articles on Hollywood have announced that we are living in the Golden Age of the Aging Actor. Harrison Ford, who turns 80 this week, may be the most prominent example. As the public face of several major brand franchises, he is still in demand, and will soon show up in another Indiana Jones movie, a kind of Raiders of the Lost AARP Card affair. But this aging Ford assembly line is hardly an isolated example—the graying actor is everywhere. Top Gun is the biggest box office success of the year, and it features Tom Cruise reprising a role he last played in 1986. I fully expect to see a septuagenarian Superman or Batman in the future.

Here is more from Ted Gioia’s Substack, which I recommend more generally.


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