Harlem Shake Changes the Music World
Last week, Billboard magazine changed the way they compile the Hot 100 chart every week and changed the game in the music business. 'Harlem Shake' by 23 year old Baauer went from a nobody to #1 in the United States overnight. Along the way, setting fire to what we have perceived as the Hot 100 songs in the country.
This is a game changer. How did it go from nothing 2 weeks ago on the chart to the top spot? Sheer luck? No. Deep pocketed record companies? No. Big commercial in the Super Bowl? No. Just some kids dancing in a 30 second video and some help by a guy known on You Tube as Filthy Frank. Nice.
Do you think it was a fluke the first week at #1? Well it was good enough to keep radio and video favorites Rihanna, Taylor Swift out and knock another You Tube favorite, Thrift Shop by Macklemore out of the #1 spot last week. This week, it is #1 again and it seems to just be getting started.
Radio, TV, record company execs and the "powers that be" should start taking notice. The game is changing and changing FAST. They also must be asking how did this happen and why?
How it happened started a few years back when we created the NOW generation. The challenge has been that we didn't want it to move as fast as it did. Billboard magazine was just smart enough to realize that it was using out of date data and not figuring in the NOW generation that wants things faster than the machine can give it to them. We also didn't want to admit that You Tube was a viable medium, but Gangham Style has over 1 BILLION views. That is with a B. That matters. Think about how long that song would have stayed at #1 if video views were figured in like they are now. Justin Bieber might have had #1 songs with every single has has released.
Watch out though, when the 'machine' figures out that a :30 video clip of crazy kids dancing will go #1, guess what is coming. Right now, record company execs are working on some way to start a revolution of kids dancing in a :30 video clip and thinking it will blow up and go #1 for them. They don't realize as they are working on their projects to unvail that there is a nation that is talking around the water cooler and on college campuses about how they can get involved and make their own video and be part of a revolution that ended up giving a 23 year old dj a #1 song created over a year ago in his basement at 3am with no radio airplay, no record company and no promotional budget. The game has changed. The people now have a bigger voice on the Hot 100 about what they like "right NOW" and some are not going to like it. Congrats Baauer, enjoy it.