All Things Music Industry-ish
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Journey Takes To The Power of Licensing
Earlier this month Journey's summer-time classic "Don't Stop Believin'" became the first catalog track in history to sell over 2 million digital copies.
Back in the day, as it were, Journey was among the ranks of bands known as corporate rock (aka Arena Rock), alongside the likes of Foreigner, Boston and Styx. And go figure, say what you like, but those bands were, in actuality, pretty good. What differentiates Journey from, say, Boston--who, I dare say, were perhaps better than Journey--is its luck/savvy-ness at licensing the right song in the right place, at the right time.
Surely, older (oldish?) HBO Sopranos viewers watching that final episode were reminded of youthful times in the backseat of a car and immediately rushed to the closest computer to relive the moment courtesy of iTunes. Indeed, iTunes sales apparently spiked 482% during the airdate week. But similarly, the same track made it to iTunes Top 10 Singles a couple of years earlier, coinciding with the song's use in Fox's "Family Guy" and MTV's "Laguna Beach", boasting a younger demographic.
So maybe it's the pure white sugar sweetness of the song. Perhaps its eighties production doesn't completely overwhelm it in the same way it's victimized others of its ilk. Would Supertramp's "Give A Little Bit" or Boston's "More Than A Feeling" give "Don't Stop Believin'" a run for its number one place on iTunes? It may well depend solely on a good scene in a great series.