Finding the Grownup Audience

Ballroom Dancing: SXSW panels

SXSW Live Shots
Photo By Gary Miller

Finding the Grownup Audience

Austin Convention Center, Thursday, March 18 Contrary to what MTV might lead you to believe, music isn't just for hard-drinking spring breakers and mall rats sporting belly-button jewelry. Fully 60% of CD sales comes from the wallets of geezers aged 30 and up. How then, queried Texas Monthly Editor Evan Smith, do you corral a fractured audience with sundry musical tastes? Nic Harcourt, music director at L.A.'s KCRW, stated that he makes his programming decisions based on instinct; his instincts usually prove to be dead-on, Harcourt having launched many a career via his show, Morning Becomes Eclectic. Alan Light, editor of Tracks, a music magazine for the more mature music fan, concurred, saying, "It's a taste issue rather than a decision based on marketing data. We deal with a hugely underserved audience, so there's a lot of potential there, but there's not one button you can push to reach them. You can't just pop something on MTV and say, 'There, I've reached my audience.'" But there are outlets to reach those busy grownups. Matt Hanks, publicity director at Shore Fire Media and "go-to guy" for Norah Jones, cites the huge cultural influence of NPR and respected dailies like The New York Times, as they're less beholden to trends than to the tastes of their critics. "When NPR or the Times does a feature on an artist, you can watch their sales rank rise almost immediately on," he claimed. The first step? Determining what, exactly, a "grownup" is.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

Saturday Showcases
Saturday Showcases

March 20, 2015

Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
First night SXSW Music recommendations and hints

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Album Review: PES’s <i>Corales Prematuros (En Vivo)</i>
Album Review: PES’s Corales Prematuros (En Vivo)
Peruvian-fronted rock band offers a daring approach of their debut EP

Cy White, July 12, 2024

Album Review: Fastball’s <i>Sonic Ranch</i>
Album Review: Fastball’s Sonic Ranch
With their latest, the trio creates what they call their best album yet

Cy White, June 28, 2024

More by Melanie Haupt
Restaurant Review: Mexta
Restaurant Review: Mexta
Mexta wants to be Austin’s new upscale Mexican dining destination

July 5, 2024

Restaurant Review: Bambino
Restaurant Review: Bambino
New Eastside pizza joint from L’Oca d’Oro owners has something to say

June 7, 2024

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle