Drug Use and Its Impact on the Music Industry
Music industry execs: listen up! Your consumers are bellowing their wants, needs, and desires from every published statistic that used to scare your moms and dads to death. I’m talking about possibly the best pre social-trend indictor at your disposal: drugs. I aim to show you how using current drug use statistics will give you an objective look at the music trends that are just around the corner.
A close look at historical data shows a high correlation between the types of drugs used and the types of music that are most popular. The music industry is one of many which faces the ever-difficult task of predicting social trends. Social trends need to be predicted because you need to know which artist or music-related event to promote and to what extent. Artist development takes time, so you need some way of accurately guessing what to do; then when your artists are ready for release, the public will immediately take them in.
The phrase “social trend” encompasses an almost infinite number of factors making a future social trend nearly impossible to predict without solid indicators. In a culture where future trends are so unpredictable, predictability can be found in the knowledge of what a drug will make its user like. This theory can be applied to any drug and music genre but there are three drugs of specific focus that have historically shaped music and youth culture trends: LSD, MDMA, and Cocaine. Each of these drugs can be linked to a specific type of music genre or event. So how exactly can drug use statistics make money? Think of it like diversifying your portfolio of artists; based on these statistics, put more emphasis on those expected to do well and less on those that aren’t. Do this by:
1. Following drug trends to predict music trends.
2. Investing relative to drug use statistics.
3. Investing demographically.
These three principals can be applied to turn your investments into smarter investments.
Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll: The link between drugs and music.
A remarkably common phrase used in our time to represent youth culture trends through the past century. Specifically this phrase represents the on-going and ever-changing drug and music trends. The link between drugs and music has been clearly present for as long as history dates the use of either. Popular music genre shifts almost always occur alongside popular drug use trends. Historical records show a link between drug use and music as far back as 4500 B.C. in places like ancient China and Egypt. According to the International Institute for Asian Studies, psychedelic drugs such as Opium and Psilocybin, the active drug in hallucinogenic mushrooms, were used in ancient Chinese rituals that included music and dancing.7
For contemporary music artists, the link occurs in the music creation process. In Kevin Sampson’s Drugs Uncovered: The Link Between Drugs and Music, Sampson points out that illicit drugs change the way musicians create music and that the music of the past would not have been created without them. The example he provides of is the popular Beatles song “Yellow Submarine.” Beatles manager, Brian Epstein, accounts the creation of the idea by John Lennon during an LSD trip in which he spontaneously began drawing a picture of where he, his friends, and band mates lived together; this picture, of course, was of a yellow submarine. Although not all artists were drug users, many contemporary artists of the past century created and still create music while under the influence of various illicit drugs. Drug using artists believe that drugs cause their music to become unique and creative in ways that a normally functioning brain would not consider.
For contemporary music consumers, this link between drugs and music is based on the effect each drug has on its user. Each drug’s unique effects define its link to a certain type of music genre or event.
So what exactly are...
References: 1. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). (2008). Statistics on LSD [Data file]. Retrieved from http://www.drugfree.org/portal/drug_guide/lsd
3. Cocaine Addiction Drug Rehab. (2010). What is cocaine? [Data File]. Retrieved from http://www.cocaineaddiction.com/cocaine_coke.html
5. Wikipedia. (2010). Characteristics of Electric Dance Music. [Data file]. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_Dance_Music
7. International Institute for Asian Studies. (2007). Ancient Chinese Spirituality. [Data File]. Retrieved from http://www.iias.nl/research/spirituality
9. Longboard Surfer. (2010). Billboard’s Top 10. [Data file]. Retrieved from http://longboredsurfer.com/charts/1981.php
11. Hylton, F. (February 5, 2010). The Culture of Cocaine. Counterpunch. Retrieved from http://theglobalrealm.com/2010/02/06/the-culture-of-cocaine/
13. Urban dictionary. (2010). Candy Kids. Retrieved from http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=candy%20kid
15. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2010). Drug Use Data & Statistics. [Data file]. Retrieved from http://oas.samhsa.gov/nsduhLatest.htm
Table 1: 9, 15
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