Sunday, November 5, 2017 | Lefsetz Letter

I finally downloaded the app (and too!) It was the article in today’s WSJ. magazine. Let me see, can you access this without a subscription?

Unfortunately you can’t, welcome to the new world of haves and have-nots, you thought information was gonna be free forever, but it’s not, you’re gonna pay if you want it, and that’s gonna boil it down to the informed and uninformed, and forget about politics, if you want to know about trends, what’s going on in business, you’ve got to pay, sorry.

That’s what content companies don’t understand. It’s an evolution. Get them hooked, then close the doors, you’re gonna make more money than ever before. But only a few companies in each vertical will sustain. And in news, it takes infrastructure, which is not easy to replicate, the HuffPo is a shadow of what it once was, even though it’s better, and BuzzFeed actually has gravitas, but in the world of social media…

It’s about innovation. For all the scuttlebutt about the power of Facebook, if it didn’t buy WhatsApp and Instagram it would be struggling now, kinda like Apple, why does everybody always look at today instead of tomorrow? is looking at tomorrow, Generation Z.

This is not for you, for old farts, this is for kids with more time than you, who are still figuring out their place on the social stratum, who are unafraid of taking a risk, making fools of themselves.

So basically, you post a video of yourself to a short musical clip.

Doesn’t sound so revolutionary in concept, I’ve been tracking the story for over a year, sifting through the e-mail, because overhype is rampant and trends frequently don’t last, but when I read about John Janick getting his acts involved, and Jason Derulo, when I saw the impact of these videos, I decided to check the app out.

And it is an app. Just like an older generation never knew a world without computers, without the internet, the youngest generation never knew a world without smartphones. You parents can bitch and moan, say your kid doesn’t need one (doesn’t DESERVE ONE!) but without a smartphone you’re disconnected, not part of the firmament, never mind the discussion.

And for all the hogwash about the downside of technology, whose fires are stoked by the ancient intellectuals in the “New York Times,” most of what technology brings is good, hell, did you see that article in the “Wall Street Journal” extolling the virtues of Kindles, especially the new Oasis? The writer said he’d never go back to print, and one day the publishers will wake up and see they’ve made a mistake, after all the Luddites buying physical books disappear.

Now is not like Snapchat, there’s very little learning curve.

And it’s not like Facebook, where you boast about what you’ve done.

Nor Instagram, where you fake it for pictures.

No, is all about the here and now, about making a video and posting it instantly. You almost want to participate, until you realize you’ll never be that skinny, and your aged body can’t take the workout.

It’s riveting, to see what these kids come up with. And you instantly see beneath the surface, wanting to become a neighborhood (national, INTERNATIONAL!) star, the passing of information, which is so fast these days.

And then you look at the chart. And realize this could be the most important one in musicdom, even more important than the vaunted Shazam, this is what kids are listening to right now, kids who may or may not have a streaming music service, this is where hits are being BUILT!

And the categories are simple to divine. Popular, Song Chart and Leaderboard. Kids are involved, it’s a community, with stickiness.

“Sensor Tower’s data suggest that on average people spend more than three minutes in every time they open the app (compared with roughly two minutes on Instagram and 85 seconds on Snapchat) and that users are spending more than 15 minutes on each day (compared to more than 22 minutes on Facebook).”

I don’t think stars are forever, hell, I don’t even think is forever! This is one thing the straight media gets wrong, believing that acts can translate their success from one vertical to another, from social media to Hollywood. Sure, they’ve got fame, but so does that guy who roller skates and plays his guitar on Venice Beach, fame is not enough, especially today, when you’re lucky if it last 15 minutes, and your talent is this, making clips, not acting, not writing scripts, not supporting television shows, you overwork yourself to make coin, and then you’re broke down and busted, sitting on the side of the street. As for itself, what we’ve seen in the past ten years is a succession of social networks, there’s always another cool one, one that captures the fancy of children, most of them are fads, and there are so many, but is based on music, CHECK IT OUT!

“The Social Media Platform That Has Gen Z Obsessed – has captured the attention of the millions of teens who post videos on the platform – and now its influence is rippling through the music industry”


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