googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: The Baby Boomer Bust

The Baby Boomer Bust

I've written about how demographics affect the fortunes of the Animation Industry in posts for animation blogs but the same principals hold true for the Music Industry. In the Classic Rock Era, starting with the British Invasion in 1964, the  Baby Boomer generation was approaching their teenage years. 

Teenagers like music, rather, teenage boys like teenage girls and dancing was a time honored courting ritual. Dancing was one of the few activities that included both sexes together, in close physical proximity, and was socially acceptable. Music is essential for dancing and the technology of recorded music had evolved enough that records were of sufficient sound quality as to make them a worthwhile investment. Teenagers (a term that wasn't even invented until the 1950s, along with Rock & Roll), in the mid-Sixties were living in a time of strong economy and had access to disposable income, necessary for purchasing luxury items such as phonograph albums and concert tickets.

And there were 78 million Baby Boomers.

The story goes that the early record companies that produced rock and roll records were actually money laundering fronts for Organized Crime who could claim all the record sales they wanted to cover their income from gambling, drugs and prostitution, thus supplying revenue for investment in the Rock & Roll record business which probably would not have otherwise found legitimate investment capitol. With a customer base of 78 million with disposable income ( the allowances given to them by their parents and no real bills to pay), the music business in the 1960s went through the roof. Perhaps this connection to crime money is something that contributes to rock's seedy reputation, at least subconsciously.

Now those 78 million record buyers are growing into their sixties and have by now collected all the music they care to listen to so the music business is dropping off the roof. Sure, the Internet and illegal downloading and the wide spread belief that "music should be free" which is prevalent among the new young generation is also to blame but simple put, there just isn't the market for music that there used to be.

Competition for the attention of the next generation is fierce with video games, cable TV, social networking, and Internet porn making the idea of just listening to a song somewhat lame. We now have satellite radio in our cars and Internet radio and songs on Youtube so who needs to buy a record? Also, the professional music industry takes investment capitol and investors like to invest where there is a large market demand. There may be babies born all the time and a never ending supply of teenage music buyers but they're not 78 million strong anymore. If you're going to invest in something it's going to be something for that 78 million.

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