MSNBC contributor, James Sullivan, recently wrote a great piece about how consumers are finding out about new pop music these days. His point? That exposure to new music has become fragmented, unlike the old days when America first heard new music collectively on the radio. The advent of iPods, mp3 files, satellite radio, and even the use of TV shows has created so many exposure avenues that none of us hear the same new music at the same time. In his words, it's "the erosion of our shared culture."
Now segue to Classic Rock where the community is alive and well. And that's why the format has a long, healthy future. Its fans all first discovered Cream, Queen, and Floyd at the same time, and so the coalition is in place. Plus, there's something about being at a Stones concert with 60,000 other fans, or remembering the days when you waited in line for "Abbey Road" to go on sale. You feel like you're part of something very big and very special.
And thanks to the Internet, Classic Rock stations can easily tap into that community via the email database. The concept of "Listener Appreciation Parties" is a great one, because Classic Rockers love to come together and talk about their favorite music. When we had Internet activist, Zephyr Teachout, speak at our Summit in '04, we told her about our Listener Advisory Board panels where a dozen fans meet to talk about the station. Zephyr's reaction? Why don't you invite all your listeners to something much bigger - a Classic Rock FanFest, if you will? Why not indeed? Classic Rockers may become one of music radio's last true communities.