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Radio and the Myth of MySpace

An interesting piece from the London Telegraph cites research on British and other European millenials and comes to this conclusion:

Two thirds of 18- to 24-year-olds in the UK have never used MySpace; across Europe…it’s 76 per cent. Only one in ten of British 18- to 24-year-olds have ever blogged. Another stereotype-smashing statistic is the 94 per cent of British youngsters who say they never download ringtones for their mobile phones. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is their preferred source of new music – not MySpace, iTunes, MTV, nor even ripping their friends’ music collections to their own hard drives. It turns out to be the humble radio, cited by 31 per cent of British teenagers, with the internet, friends and MTV on 20 per cent each.

I’d be interested in what these proportions look like stateside. If you have access to this research, please point me to it.

As the piece notes, young people are not so much unified by their devotion to new technology as divided by it into two groups, the have’s and the have-nots (or, perhaps, the wants and the want-nots).

This is not to say that MySpace and its like are not important. After all, critical trends usually start at the fringes. But it remains important to understand the difference between where we are today and where we’ll be tomorrow. Meanwhile it’s also important to recognize that a great many supposed MySpace members created a page and left it for dead years ago.

Finally, anyone following this blog will not be surprised that radio is the preferred source of new music (except, perhaps, for the folks in the music industry who seem to believe that music fans magically conjure the notion that a song is hot without the use of their trusty radios). It is, however, pretty alarming that in this UK study radio is ONLY ten points ahead of MTV, the Internet, and other alternatives.

THAT is a trend that is not likely to move in radio’s direction.

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