Big Champagne, a market research company that looks at measuring online media, has compiled a list of the most popular artists in the P2P sphere.
So the top twenty are:
1. Sean Kingston
2. The Game
3. Justin Timberlake
4. Kanye West
5 Chris Brown
6. Rick Ross
7. Keyshia Cole
10. 50 Cent
11. Alicia Keys
14. David Banner
15. Katy Perry
18. Carrie Underwood
19. Soulja Bay
20. Flo Rida
As you’d expect, the list is domiated by American acts (what with the US of A being the most active internet hub).
What though is tantalising about this list is the lack of BIG names from the world of rock and pop. Madonna, the ‘Queen of Pop’ comes in at 95 and Michael Jackson, the ‘King of Pop’, is nowhere is to be seen. Led Zeppelin crash in at 94 and Coldplay, one of the biggest selling acts today are only at 72.
The key thing to be looking at, is that these guys who are low down on the list are some of the biggest touring artists in the world. Coldplay, U2 and Oasis, for example, play to hundreds of thousands of fans all over the globe on a regular basis. It is not improbable that this drives CD sales or legal downloads.
A quick look at Sean Kingston’s website tells us that he’s only gigged 23 times this year with a one off show in the UK, a couple in Australia and New Zealand, with the remainder being based in the USA.
American rapper The Game has only gigged 33 times this year, again primarily in the USA, but he has gone to some far away places including Bratislava and Manchester.
Justin Timberlake’s tour diary on the other hand is completely free it appears…
Are these two factors related? I’d suggest so. Granted, this is not a particularly scientific study and has only picked out three artists, but the pattern of not playing live shows and having your music pirated would appear to be justified.
People want to consume music in as many different ways as possible, and live gigs are the now the main money maker for bands – so why aren’t recording artists making the most of this?
We do have to take into acount the record/gig/rest/write/record/gig/rest/write cycle of course, and most of these are recording artists, not touring artists, whose sales probably make up the wealth of a small country.
I would argue then, that to not be affected by online piracy, illegal downloading etc, that an artists needs to make their music as accessible to their public as possible. Not just this, for anyone can go and buy a CD, but artists need to give fans that opportunity to experience the music and feel the emotion LIVE, not through the comfort of the headphones. There is only so many times that you can listen to a song played exactly the same before it becomes wearisome, and a live performance can reinvigorate a tired old song, into something new, fresh and exciting.