Music Industry

Published on March 8th, 2016 | by Alan Cross

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More Proof of the “You Can Lead a Horse to Water” Theory When It Comes to Music

You Can Lead a Horse to Water

For years, musos despaired at the musical preferences of other music fans whose tastes were considered, substandard. “It’s so sad that they’re brainwashed into only liking Top 40 mainstream dreck. But since radio stations, record labels and music channels control what the world gets to hear, it’s not surprising. If only these poor people could hear the music beyond what The Establishment wants them to buy things would be so much better. More people would hear good music!”

These same musos celebrated the arrival of illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing sites. “Just go onto Napster and you’ll find all kinds of great music you never knew existed!” Some did, but that didn’t stop the rise of the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and NSYNC. The musos were bewildered and frustrated.

When iTunes appeared with its Genius recommendations, the musos got excited at first but then became discouraged when they found that the majority of music fans gravitated towards buying the same old mainstream hits.

Then came streaming. “Aha!” they musos exclaim. “Here’s where things change! People will finally get to explore through tens of millions of song and find great shit that will finally put the nail in the coffin for Justin Bieber!”

Nope. I monitor who’s streaming what every single week and guess what? The non-musos are still listening to the same old mainstream hits. Here’s this week’s Top 10 streamers in Canada.

  1. Rihanna Feat. Drake, “Work,’ 3,950,956 streams in the last week
  2. Bieber, Justin, “Sorry,” 2,229,387
  3. ZAYN “PILLOWTALK.”2,066,661
  4. Bieber, Justin, “Love Yourself,” 2,006,067
  5. Twenty One Pilots, “Stressed Out,” 1,760,691
  6. G-Eazy x Bebe Rexha, “Me, Myself & I,” 1,443,288
  7. Flo Rida, “My House,” 1,336,581
  8. Graham, Lukas. “7 Years,” 1,326,517
  9. Chainsmokers Feat. Rozes, “Roses,”1,295,656
  10. Adele, “Hello,” 1,274,379
  11. Bieber, Justin, “What Do You Mean?” 1,270,959
  12. DNCE, “Cake By The Ocean,”1,037,933
  13. Posner, Mike, “I Took A Pill In Ibiza,” 1,033,581
  14. Drake, “Hotline Bling,” 974,626
  15. Selena Gomez, “Hands to Myself,” 972,784

Let’s go a little deeper. Here on International Women’s Day, Spotify has this list of the most-listened-to female artists among female listeners.

  1. Beyoncé
  2. Katy Perry
  3. Lana Del Rey
  4. Rihanna
  5. Ariana Grande
  6. Lorde
  7. Miley Cyrus
  8. Taylor Swift
  9. Ellie Goulding

Now let’s look at dudes. What female artists do they listen to the most?

  1. Katy Perry
  2. Lana Del Rey
  3. Lorde
  4. Ariana Grande
  5. Rihanna
  6. Beyoncé
  7. Ellie Goulding
  8. Miley Cyrus
  9. Lady Gaga
  10. Iggy Azalea



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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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One Response to More Proof of the “You Can Lead a Horse to Water” Theory When It Comes to Music

  1. juepucta says:

    why would accessibility, price or format change in any way people’s shit taste?

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