Bum Rush The Charts – Can The Wisdom Of Crowds Beat Out The Music Industry… Again?

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Overall concept: bitch slap the music industry (again).
Here’s what the Bum Rush The Charts Blog says:
“On March 22nd, we are going to take an indie podsafe music artist to number one on the iTunes singles charts as a demonstration of our reach to Main Street and our purchasing power to Wall Street… What’s more, we’re going to take it a step beyond that. We’ve signed up as an affiliate of the iTunes Music Store, and every commission made on the sale of ‘Mine Again’ (by Black Lab) will be donated to college scholarships, partly because it’s a worthy cause, but also partly because college students are among the most misunderstood and underestimated groups of people by big media. Black Lab has taken it up another notch – 50% of their earnings are going to be donated to the scholarship fund as well.
If you believe in the power of new media, on March 22nd, 2007, take 99 cents and 2 minutes of your time to join the revolution and make iTunes ‘Mine Again’. If you’re a content producer (blogger, podcaster, etc.), we’re asking you to join up with us and help spread the word to your audience. Nothing would prove the power of new media more than showing corporate media that not only can we exceed their reach and match their purchasing power, but that we can also do it AND make a positive difference in the world. If we can succeed with this small example, then there’s no telling what can do next.”
Sounds almost like a planned Flash Mob – with reason and purpose. Most of the Canadian music industry is converged on Toronto at this moment for CMW – Canadian Music Week, where I’m sure far too many “industry experts” are not spending enough time rubbing shoulders with the likes of Jay Moonah from the podsafe music band, Uncle Seth, and Blogger – Podcaster over at Online Music Marketing. Why are they not spending enough time with people like Moonah? Because this is an industry that never saw Napster coming, then got pillaged again when iTunes took hold and then really lost it all when online social networking broke and MySpace turned bands into real-life communities.
Why did this happen?
One word: power.
Some companies believe they have the power over the consumers. Some pundits say that the power of brands is shifting over to the consumer. I would argue that companies never had any power. What they were doing is crowding the available spaces with their messages by spending a lot of money and reaching more people than any individual ever could. Until now.
Say it is because of Blogs, Podcasts, online social networks or what have you, but you and I have “real power” now. The real ability to affect change. Individuals can spread their message far and wide. Whether it’s about how a Kryptonite bike lock can be opened with a Bic pen or an idea from a bunch of indie music fans who are Podcasting to help a great band like Black Lab get to number one.
Bum Rush The Charts is a prime example of how new ideologies like the wisdom of crowds, connected communities and tribes without defined geography are mashing-up to make a difference in our world.
If you want to take part, go here: Bum Rush The Charts.


  1. Great post, Mitch. I’m not in this social slice, but the more often the people use the power they’ve got, the more often companies will realize who is the real boss. Way to go. 🙂

  2. Funny enough, I just got back from CMW and _did_ spend a fair amount of time rubbing shoulders with industry experts, much of which will come to light as interviews a new podcast series I’m working with a number of folks on (not OMM, this will be a new thing).
    I will say that I personally believe the “old” music industry is finally coming around. As Bob Lefsetz talked about in a recent post at lefsetz.com guys like Michael McCarty (the extraordinarily savvy head of EMI Publishing in Canada) are seeing a change in attitudes. The people talking about DRMs and suing fans are being marginalized, and the realization that the CD business is coming to an end is finally sinking in. Niches and audience empowerment are the new buzzwords for big music. About damn time.
    That said, we are definitely not 100% there, and efforts like Bum Rush the Charts are important components to the long wake up call.

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