There’s No Such Thing As “Selling Out” Anymore

 

In 1987, when Millennials were young or not yet born, Paul Simon declared that he would never, ever license his music for commercial use. In an interview with David Letterman he said, “There would be no offer that would tempt me. I actually really resent it. They’ve taken the music of my generation, and all this music I treasured so much and they’ve associated it entirely with selling and I actually really deeply resent it…” For Boomers and Gen Xers, the idea of “selling out” was an artistic sin. Artists and fans alike looked down on the commercialization of the music they lived by. Flash forward a few decades and to say things have changed is an understatement of extreme proportions. Millennial artists and fans not only see commercial music use as a norm; they embrace it. Musicians have moved from merely performing and licensing their songs for big brands, to using their images to create products and brands themselves. And Paul Simon? He licensed his music library out years ago, and the whole world heard “Clouds” in a Honda commercial in 2011. The idea of “selling out” is close to dead.

 

The rise of iTunes, single music library culture, and the playlist mentality has created a group of consumers with a generally broader taste in music. The desire to add to that singles playlist and expand their music libraries has also led to an increased value of music discovery. While many Millennials find out about music through peer sharing, the generation is generally more open to finding new groups and songs through commercials. In fact, Dan Auerback of The Black Keys partly credits the use of their song in a Nissan commercial for their more mainstream success, comparing having songs in commercials to having them on the radio. There are even websites dedicated to helping viewers…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “A lot of people stay in jobs they hate. They feel stuck or need the money. I refuse to do this. I just gave up a Nursing career to be a CSR and I have never been happier.”—Female, 27, IN

YouTube is cracking down on creators that participate in dangerous viral challenges. The media giant updated their community guidelines to take a stronger stance against stunts that spin out of control—like the Tide Pod Challenge. Any creator that performs “pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger” will earn a strike—three and they’re out. What could constitute a strike? Just ask Jake Paul, who recently drove blindfolded for the #BirdBoxChallenge. (The Verge)

The inner five-year-old of Millennials everywhere is jumping up and down for Hot Topic’s Polly Pocket collab. In partnership with Mattel, the brand that wins at delivering unique styles is dropping a 17-piece collection of nostalgic merch. (The line looks a lot like another throwback collection we called out last year.) In celebration of the iconic toy’s 30th birthday (feel old yet?), ‘90s kids can cop everything from bags to hats to mini makeup palettes that feature shades like “Made in the 90s.” (Nylon)

YouTubers Life OMG! is like The Sims for a generation of aspiring social media stars. Players can pretend to be a video game streamer, a passionate creative, or another influencer. But the game is just as realistic as the kids who play it, making them do chores and deliver newspapers when they’re off the air. Similarly, most kids seem to know the dream is not a full-time gig; just take it from nine-year-old Oliver, who explains, “Of course I will have a good job as well, not just YouTube." (Vice)

Big brands are swooping in to save young shoppers from 2018’s oat milk shortage. The buzzy beverage has become the environmentally friendly alternative to almond milk for Millennial & Gen Z shoppers seeking dairy-free and vegan options. It became a barista favorite this year, mainly thanks to industry upstart, Oatly, which is opening a new factory to up their production. But they better hurry: big brands like Pepsi Co.’s Quaker Oats, Danone’s Silk, and Califia Farms are all getting in on this grain-based trend. (Bloomberg)

The most old-fashioned form of TV is experiencing a surge: over-the-air. While the Post-TV Gen continue to cut the cord, more are buying physical antennas to tap free networks and watch live events. Nielsen data found that this kind of old-school appointment viewing jumped from 9% of all homes in 2010 to 14% last year. Diving deeper into that 14%, about three in five also subscribe to streaming services like Netflix, and their median age is 36. (Fortune)

Quote of the Day: “I’d rather do a job I'm passionate about for a lower salary than do a high-paying but low-rewarding job.”—Male, 18, MA

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