Bob Dylan and Media Convergence

Today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune (registration required) has an article on Bob Dylan’s concert tour and his appeal to youth. It highlights the powerful team of new media and traditional media:

At 65, Dylan is drawing a broad audience partly because of his iconic status and historical importance, but also because he has been exploring new media — via a weekly show on XM satellite radio and a commercial for iTunes. He’s also opened up about his life, with a best-selling memoir, “Chronicles Vol. 1,” and the PBS documentary “No Direction Home,” while granting interviews to the likes of “60 Minutes” and Newsweek magazine.

Combine that kind of exposure with a surprising willingness to demystify himself and it’s no surprise that his new CD, “Modern Times,” released in late August, became his first No. 1 album in 30 years.

And iTunes made a difference: about 10 percent of the opening-week sales came from digital downloads — twice the industry average, according to Billboard.

“He has newfound respect,” said Lee Abrams, XM radio’s chief creative officer. “Five years ago, he was lumped in with stars of the ’60s. Now, he’s gone from being a classic-rock artist to somebody beyond definition — like the Beatles.”

The traditional media are unsurpassed at creating broad awareness. The new media enable users to get exactly what they want immediately. Instant gratification. Put them together, and they’re a powerful combination.

And, in keeping with Debbie Weil’s advice about using lists in blogs, here’s the Star Tribune’s 7 reasons kids still dig Dylan.

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Author: Lee Aase

Husband of one, father of six, grandfather of 13. Chancellor Emeritus, SMUG. By day I'm the Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Whatever I say here is my personal opinion, and doesn't reflect the positions of my employer.

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