My name is Ysabel Hudson Searle (candidate number 0331) and this is my Media Studies coursework blog, featuring my ongoing work. I am in Group 2, along with Harry Kettenis (0390), Matthew Romo (1660) and Joshua Stevens (0796). This is the link to our live facebook page: Group 2's Facebook Page.
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Thursday, 4 September 2014

Initial research, influences and ideas - Music Trends

BPI have compiled all album, single, streaming and combined sales of 2013, based on Official Charts Company data, and listed them within genres. 

Consequently we can see that from album, single sales, online streaming and combined sales, rock  and pop are the most popular genre of 2013. 
Whilst no Pop titles featured in the top five singles of 2013, Katy Perry's pop single 'Roar' was the highest placest pop track at number six. This shows that whilst pop singles are not in the top five selling singles of 2013, they still dominate the charts by far, and so for singles, it would be fairly secure to choose within the genres of pop. Having said that, pop singles that succeed are usually released by well-established pop stars, like Katy Perry for instance, which for an independent record label seeking to take on a new artist, seems less achievable. The top artist in the singles data was Passenger with 'Let her go', and One Republic's 'Counting Stars' was in the top ten. Passenger were at the time a fairly under-established band who were still able to take the charts by storm. This to me shows that rock would be a perhaps more secure genre to delve into.
Within the streaming data, rock was securely on top, with the two most streamed artists were the Arctic Monkeys and Bastille. The Arctic Monkeys are well-established, but Bastille were less so, showing again more opportunity for upcoming artists to break through, although well-established bands and artists will always remain. 
As someone working for an independent record label, responsible for new bands and upcoming artists, I would be careful to reside within the musical trends to some extent, especially with overwhelming data like this. Whilst independent labels do not have the high pressure for profits and are able to take on more risky and new artists, rock and pop here seem to be by far dominating the charts and so I would be looking for someone within those genres or perhaps even with a slight cross-over. In addition, the categories are pretty basic, for instance rock has such a wide variety within itself, for instance indie rock, and so it would be safe to say that I could find someone fitting into the wider rock or pop genre who could still be new and unique.

From the official charts website, I was able to see the biggest selling artist albums of 2014 so far.
Coldplay dominated with their album 'Ghost Stories'. Coldplay are in the rock/pop gebnre, and so cover both genres that are most popular. They also have a variety of more pop ballad songs like 'Magic', among more dance and pop like rhythms within their songs, e.g. 'A Sky Full Of Stars'.

Paolo Nutini's 'Caustic Love' was in second place. Paolo is another example of someone who has a variety of ability when it comes to genre, and his album displays this. There are more American rock songs like 'Scream (Funk My Life Up)' and more soulful songs like 'Iron Sky'. 

Palomoa Faith was also high up on the charts with her album 'A Perfect Contradiction' which has lots of alternative pop and R&B songs on it like 'Can't Rely On You' with elements of motown, and more soulful pop like 'Trouble With My Baby'. 

London Grammar's album 'If You Wait' is consistent with their unique genre, mixing ambient, indie pop and trip hop. 

Beyonce's album 'Beyonce' was high up in the charts even many months after it was released. Beyonce herself has become such a well-established super star, and her genre ranges from classic R&B to pop and many other genres. This album was also consistent with that, songs like 'Yonce' was within hip hop, dancehall, electro genres with trap elements too. Songs like 'Drunk In Love' were also dominated by trap and bass rhythms. She also included more pop songs, like 'Pretty Hurts', and 'Superpower' which is a more experiementally motown style, modernised with R&B.

From these artists, I can conclude that an artist with the ability to cover a range of genres can be more successful, and reach and appeal to many more audiences than an artist only covering one. 

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