Saturday, July 31, 2010

Whatever Happened To The Headbangers ?

Last weekend I spent my time in a field in the East End of London (I think they prefer the term ‘Victoria Park’) along with forty or so thousand other middle aged men with our beer bellies, greying and receding hair, leather jackets, Journey 'Don't Stop Believing' t-shirts (yes, we were there the first time around) and long neglected air guitar graces.

We are the baby boomers, and I can reasonably confidently calculate that the net worth of those headbangers exceeded that of the ten times bigger Glastonbury crowd (indeed, most of us had been at Glastonbury when there were only 40k people there) by some distance (taking out the hedge fund managers in their VIP yurts, of course - but hopefully they will be taxed to extinction by the next Festival).

The marketing industry (and the TV business to boot) has totally missed the point of the demographic timegap. Apple hasn’t. It seems that the iPad is mostly bought by us bloated has beens. It's quite expensive for a toy and embarrassing to carry around with you for a teenager). And because we’re used to buying stuff and not stealing it off the internet, we buy even more stuff from iTunes because of it. After all, we can’t afford to buy bigger houses any more (and for many the kids have left home), but we do have decent disposable income and we love our toys.

Sky is being hugely successful due to its sports, but its technology probably leaves most of us peeved.

Brands, and therefore TV, have long been obsessed with cultivating their next generation of consumers. So, for the past two decades Gen X and Gen Y were everything. But these are relatively small demographics, and thanks to their student debts and the housing market, they’re really quite poor. The kind of people who will pay for Sky Movies and order in Pizza Hut and only go down a pub on a Saturday (or a Friday after payday). The withered demographic now entering their twenties are going to bring no growth to any market, therefore companies and brand have to rethink their strategies totally.

What an opportunity exists out there to bring premium services and products to the world’s first real eGadget generation.

And back to the fans of UFO, Marillion, Foreigner and the other bands who now regularly play in backrooms in Llandudno. There isn’t a radio station in London for us. There isn’t any coverage on TV. There’s a massive back catalogue. As ever, there’s just a magazine catering for this industry.

If a market isn't satisfied, it seems, it dies.

I’m sitting here listening to UFO (bad name for SEO, guys) and wondering what the hack happened to narrowscasting ? But also hatching plans for the future.


This blog is dedicated to one of the greatest rock and roll legends in my book, the somewhat unwell Mr Pete Way.