I’ll admit it. I never listen to Classic Rockers except for professional reasons, even though I’m right in their target demo.
Hey, it’s great music. I was listening to Doug FM in the car with my daughter a few weeks ago when Won’t Get Fooled Again came on. I was curious about her reaction to it, so I left it on, and was once again reminded of what a killer cut it is.
And whenever I conduct a Classic Rock music test, I say to myself: “Yeah, that really was great music!”
But if I never hear The Who or The Doors again, it’ll be just fine. I grew up with that music. I lived it. But 40 years later, I never need to hear it again.
Fortunately, I’m not typical. And while I’m not into Classic Rock personally, I am very interested in it professionally.
Because it is amazing.
Back in the late ’80s when the format was emerging and scoring big wins, there were lots of skeptics around. “It’ll burn out,” they said.
Wrong. Classic Rock remains super-strong 20 years later. In most of our strategic research, classic genres are consistently at or near the top. (I guess that’s what makes it “classic.”)
One reason is that the music keeps finding new fans. More often than not, we find that 18-24 men are as enthusiastic about classic genres as their dads. This reminds me of when my (then) 17-year-old stepson said: “Mark, have you ever heard of a group called The Doors? They’re really hot!”
Another reason is that this ‘library” format — unlike Oldies — has been able to evolve. Early on, ’80s music was not a major aspect of the format…now, of course, it is.
If there’s a cloud on the horizon, it’s that the next step in the evolution — integrating early ’90s alternative-based rock (like grunge) — is controversial with listeners. Typically, half think this music is classic; half don’t. I do think this is the move for Classic Rockers, but it must be done cautiously and won’t work in all markets just yet.
Even when it does happen, though, Classic Rock will still bore the s**t out of me.
Not that it matters.