In the good old days of Top of the Pops and the Hit Parade, you knew why artists and their songs did well. It was down to the music, lyrics and auditory performance. Whilst I'm not quite old enough to remember the times before TV's (ahem!), I did spend my early Sunday evenings as a child eagerly awaiting the chart run down on Radio 1 and then setting my tape player to record and pause, just waiting for the first track to start. I'd engineer the timing to start after the last word of the presenter and then stop before they started speaking at the end of the track - rarely did I achieve this editing master-feat but I tried. Anyway - I digress. My point is - at that time we rarely saw the actual performers. With the exception of a half hour Top of the Pops where "Pan's People" and "Legs & Co" took up much of the program, we listened to the music rather than watched. It seems to me now that the performance is almost, if not more, important than the track. And to support this argument I'd reference the South Korean phenomenon that is Park Jae-sang - otherwise known as Psy. If you're not familiar with the youtube sensation then let me enlighten you. As of today, Gangnam Style, one of his hits has had 1,533,533,145 views. That's one and a half Billion (do I sound like Dr Evil?) If you're still not familiar - see it here: http://youtu.be/9bZkp7q19f0 So, my musings on this focus on whether Psy's success is music driven or video driven? Certainly if you asked my 11 year old son, he 'listens' to the vast majority of his music via Youtube and certainly finds a lot of new music via youtube. So has this medium and channel made the marketing of artists and their music a completely different game? Take his new production - it's been on youtube 3 days and has already had nearly 118 million views. http://youtu.be/ASO_zypdnsQ The power of social media and WOM has enabled otherwise unknown artists to explode in to the market no doubt causing the marketing professionals in the music industry a certain amount of consternation. How do they control their artists positions at the top of the charts? They can't. Take the annual debacle that is X-Factor and there attempts to get their winning artist to number one. It'll never happen again. The conclusion, I guess, is that consumers in this market are becoming less manipulable. Consumers now have a really easy way to 'vote' for the acts that they love. They use their mobiles, their social networks and WOM. Is this influence of marketers on the wane in the music industry or actually, is Psy purely a marketing gimic?