HITS Daily Double
That’s right, the free ride is over, and the marketplace is swinging back to the many faces of rock & roll.


Linkin Park, Crazy Town, Lifehouse, Coldplay,
At The Drive-In, David Gray, Disturbed, et al. Mark New Cycle


by Lenny Beer

It is totally clear that the times they are a-changin'. The teenpop revolution is coming to a resounding halt. And by that, we don't mean that no more teen acts will happen; we simply mean that the proliferation of can't-miss teen product has reached and passed its zenith, and the genre will now have to take its place in the retail marketplace with everything else. Yes, Britney, Christina, Backstreet, NSYNC, et al. can still have hits, but they'd better be new, exciting-sounding, great songs.

That's right, the free ride is over, and the marketplace is swinging back to the many faces of rock & roll. It's all about cycles: Kids grow out of one phase and into another. Throughout the last five decades, teenyboppers have matured into rock record buyers—just look at the evolution of the Beatles and their fans during the '60s.

A quick check of this week's Post Modern market shows that major sales breakthroughs for new rock acts are everywhere. Linkin Park, Crazy Town, Lifehouse, Coldplay and At The Drive-In are names that were unknown to us in the early fall but are now familiar to even the least studious followers of this fascinating game we all play. Add in the continued growth of the likes of David Gray, Disturbed, Fuel and Union Underground, and the list of new and developing acts that have soared past the first 100k in sales while building quickly to Gold and Platinum status is staggering.

And all of this momentum is coming from radio. Rock2K radio in its many forms is exposing new and vital bands to the ears of the public, who are devouring it in a way unseen for the past few years. Add to this revelation that it is happening at a time when MTV rotation is at its lowest point in the last decade, and we can clearly see that the people want new rock, which they are finding on the radio and once again supporting in the live-performance arena.

And maybe, just maybe, if the MTV programming gods can either find more room on the main channel or increase the viewership on the burgeoning all-music MTV2, sales could even start heading to multi-Platinum levels. Yes, MTV is supporting a lot of these bands in spirit, with many of those listed earning Buzzworthy status, but the rotation on even the biggest is averaging maybe 10 plays a week, with many of those airings in overnights. MTV2, on the other hand, is playing, or has played, most of these winners as many as 50 times a week. Is MTV2 helping? Maybe somewhat, but not as much as it will in the months and years to come.

For now, the formula is simple. Put the new music on Post Modern radio and watch the sales meter move. The hits are selling again. Rock bands are breaking again. And that is extremely good news for the business.