The growing size of the 15-29 demo cell in the coming years, Generation Y, will have more demographic muscle than any other single 25-54 cell (their grandparents - Post War Baby Boomers - will be straddling three different cells).
Five years ago, when the Boomers were all 40-54, THAT was where all the action was.
Watch 22-34 in the next few years!
Look for some new ways to speak their language in the next year.
The country demo was easily defined just five years ago. The largest and most desirable target was comprised of a single group of listeners who shared common core music preference. In the past two years, things have started changing again and driving the new artist evolution is demography.
Next year, that trend will continue.
What has emerged is a new group of non-ethnic teens and 25 to 34 year olds who just love country music.
Just as adult contemporary is now seeing a division between old and young around the age of 39 to 42, so too goes the country audience in 2011 and beyond. It's a trend that we haven't completely felt the full impact of and it even has a counter trend/bit of a backlash in the form of some new retro sounds appealing to 45+ as well, like the new Alan Jackson and Sunny Sweeney, among others.
Is country about to fragment, with two equally-sized potential audiences, one skewing younger and newer, with the other older and more familiarity and variety-based?
Historically, it has been very possible for a market leader to prevent significant fragmentation from any new competition in markets where the mainstream leader has made the adjustment to the new rules of "today's country" and aggressively practiced relationship marketing to their traditional core and social networking with the newcomers at the same time.
Will history repeat itself?
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3 weeks ago