Dave Beasing dives in again for another guest blog:
Social commentators are eager to point to this year’s low ratings for the Academy Awards ceremony as further evidence that Hollywood is putting out the wrong movies. There’s probably some truth to that – as none of the nominees for Best Picture were major box office winners like a Titanic or Lord of the Rings.
But there are other factors at work here, too. Last fall’s World Series had its lowest TV ratings of all time, dropping 30% from the year before. Last year’s NBA playoffs were down 25% from 2004. The Grammys got beaten by American Idol that night, off 10% year-to-year. The just-completed Winter Olympics had their lowest ratings in 20 years. Of major television events, only the Super Bowl seems immune to ratings declines.
Meanwhile in music, My Chemical Romance has been named SPIN magazine’s annual Readers Poll “Band of the Year.” They were also named Runner-Up for “Best Artist.” Obviously, SPIN readers like them, right? Many do, but many don’t. My Chemical Romance was also named Runner-Up for “Worst Band” and for “Worst New Artist.”
Blame it on the Internet, a new generation’s resulting embrace of individual taste and discovery, or the fragmentation of old media. Whatever the cause – and it’s all of the above and more – there’s very little about pop culture that everyone can agree upon.
Maybe that’s another reason why the usual complaints we’ve always heard about playing the same songs over and over seem a little louder and angrier than before. As we’ve long said, “It’s not their favorite songs that cause repetition problems.” But how many consensus favorites are there in 2006?