Updated: Nov 16, 2019
The Mere Exposure Effect Has You Brainwashed. You Should Know It.
The Mere Exposure Effect
Every time you hear a song on the radio that you feel shouldn't be there, but it STILL keeps getting played tells you something is wrong. Very wrong. After a while, you start thinking, "Well, maybe this isn't so bad." And then, you go to Amazon and download the music. This process is called the "Mere Exposure Effect." The effect gets you to accept things because you are familiar with them, for better or for worse. The music industry knows it. And that's why after about 8-9 times of hearing songs like "Firework" from Katy Perry, you start thinking it's not so annoying.
That's why bands like Cheap Trick, and Joan Jett started playing a lot of cover songs, to sort of get you to accept their music. Cheap Trick's, "Ain't That A Shame" and Joan Jett's, "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" are covers of Elvis and The Arrows, respectively. These bands knew that if they gave you a version of a song that sounded "familiar" you'd be less resistant to their next song.
It gets worse.
The majority of hit songs on the Pop charts are written by the same two people: Max Martin and Lukasz Gottwald. These guys are like pop up hit factory writers for the likes of Avril Lavigne, Flo Rida, and Brittany Spears (among many others). They actually helped Katy Perry write "Firework".
They would take a beat, throw it against 10 different writers, and who ever came across the best melody, they'd accept it. Then, on to the next section of the song. This technique is called "Track & Hook".
Guys like Max and Lukasz think the old style of writing a lyrics are no longer relevant. They are wrong. Have you noticed the number of large music labels are out of business? These labels used to give us quality music from folks like Carol King, Elvis Presley, and Journey. They used to be the gatekeepers. And then, Napster happened. Today, the new music industry is not controlled by labels. And in so doing, YOU get better content, and greater availability to the artist than ever before. This is a good thing.
Here is why These Folks Are Scared
1. Labels are dying
There are only 3 really big labels left, when there used to be in the 10's.
Virgin, and Def Jam, are stil surviving. But, what happened to Paramount, Columbia, RCA and the rest? They have been bought, or have died because of the internet.
2. People want to be included
Because of the internet you have better access to your favorite small bands.
You can follow on Facebook, and get direct emails
Small give away items for joining and directly supporting your band.
Customize the look of your media by making it widescreen or small and easily align media inside your posts.
3. Lyrics and Hook (not track and hook)
The writing is getting better.
Small musicians hiding in their garages can give you a better home grown experience
Often content is free
YouTube lyric videos are still very popular and help you understand the worlds
Back in the day, when vinyl copies were released, often the lyrics were in the sleeve.
4. Speaking of Vinyl
You can get special limited edition vinyl copies of albums.
Today's younger buyers want the organic feel of vinyl
They are reasonably priced
They are colorful, and grant more access to cover art.
5. Content Is For You
Today's savvy writers have a niche market and give you content you can relate to.
You won't get that intimacy from big labels
You can have direct input into songs
You can appear in fan videos
All of these reasons give small artists an advantage. And it has large acts very scared because they no longer have that intimacy they used to have. Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and Rush's "Limelight" were songs about being alone on a big stage, with no interaction as they had when they were small bands on a small stage. Bigger acts are becoming irrelevent.