Consultancy firm Midia Research has published an interesting blog post triggered by the curious (and highly lucrative) afterlife of Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ through TV shows and now streaming playlists. Toto’s ‘Africa’ and Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ are also under the microscope. “The three songs illustrate the development of the song economy,” wrote Keith Jopling in the post.
“The Song Economy is the new music industry’s growth engine.” He pointed to the gold rush around publishing catalogues as proof that the industry is laying down some serious bets hoping they have a few songs in their acquisition portfolios that will deliver the goods like the three mentioned above.
Rather that just focusing on the serendipity of a handful of songs from decades past that have become evergreen earners, Jopling says the same dynamic is reshaping frontline. “The Song Economy is critical for new songs just as it is for old ones,” he suggests. “Hit songs are more important than they have ever been.” Which is why, he proposes, we are seeing writer credits in contemporary songs run into double figures. The ultimate point is that a very select number of songs are so in demand on every outlet and on every platform as to qualify as “mini industries” in their own right. “Those songs have always been pots of gold to the industry, but in the global streaming economy they have become something quite different,” he concludes. “They can be revived and multiplied. They can be hits over and over again.”