So…one of my favorite artists of the year, Bon Iver, that I listen to on an almost daily basis is rated #8 by last.fm. For those that don’t know, last.fm is a service that collects how often you listen to a song on your iTunes and adds them up in context of all last.fm users to see how often songs are listened to on a population level rather than how many CDs that an artist sells or how many times that artist is played on radio, etc…in essence, it totally redefines music popularity in new school terms. It’s “actual usage” data rather than old school “hype” data.
This is a real coup…I’m sure the only radio station that Bon Iver has been played on is NPR. His record has only 9 songs. He immediately sold out three shows here in NYC. And his CD sales are ranked #221 in Amazon Music.
It doesn’t take much to see that this is an amazingly successful artist in terms of buzz, interest, actual number of active listens this year, and sold-out shows. Yet, he’s hardly a success in the eyes of the industry because his CD sales are damn near pathetic. #221 on the yearly charts?
It’s a whole new world folks. Welcome to the world of “free” – probably one of the most important books of the decade soon to hit bookshelves.