This Week’s Insights: How streaming is changing music… The selfie-driven museum… The data-driven bestseller… How museums’ purposes are being redefined… The first five-billion-view video
- How Streaming (And Its Data) Is Transforming Music: Now that the music business (and musicians) have granular data about how (and what) people are listening to, we can also see how the information is changing music. Not just how finding and choosing have changed, but how titles are changing, how types of music being made are changing, how artists are changing. Streaming reflects what people will actually listen to on their own, when provided with infinite choices that aren’t entirely constrained by what radio programmers, retailers and record company executives put in front of them. With streaming services, “it’s more data-driven, and more give-the-people-what-they-want-driven, because it’s so limitless.”
- A Museum’s A Museum Of Course Of Course (But…): We live in a selfie world. Now selfies are driving a new “museum” model. Or at least they’re calling themselves museums. They’re actually attractions dressed up with the title. And they exist because they offer opportunities for visitors to take pictures of themselves in front of interesting visuals. The design of selfie-driven “museums” seems to align with other experiential selfie spots like Color Factory, 29Rooms, and Dream Room. They revolve a highly successful business model: sell tickets for $35 to people itching to Instagram themselves, then immerse them in hyperpigmented landscapes funded by corporate sponsors. So are there lessons here for traditional museums?
- What Data Tells Us About What Makes Bestselling Books: “Approximately the same amount of hardcovers are being sold today as they were in past years,” writes a research team led by Albert-László Barbási. “The increasing availability of books in the digital format has [had] no influence on hardcover sales.” OK, but what types of books typically take off? Barbasi and his colleagues report they tend to be works of fiction or biographies/memoirs.
- The Evolving Purpose Of Museums (As Defined By Visitors): “‘The right function of every museum,’ wrote John Ruskin, the influential 19th-century art and social critic, ‘is the manifestation of what is lovely in the life of nature, and heroic in the life of men.’ Museums of the 21st century have moved on a bit. … They are also ‘destination’ enterprises, with permanent collections and special exhibitions, cafes and shops trying to attract as many visitors as possible in an age of global tourism. … As leading museums compete for crowd-drawing exhibits, and try to balance commercial interests and cultural diversity, visitors are bearing a rising proportion of the cost.”
- Hyper-Inflated Stat Of The Week: It’s five billion – yes with a “b”. That’s the number of views YouTube’s most-viewed video passed last week. The official video of the catchy Spanish-language track, featuring Puerto Rican rapper Daddy Yankee, on Wednesday surpassed 5 billion views on YouTube — becoming the first video in the platform’s history to hit that watermark. In an increasingly stats-driven world, how many views does it take to be meaningless information?