EMI recently (?) launched a “an exclusive online research community of people with a passion for music – just like you!” called EMI SoundCheck, which will in future months apparently have surveys in which people can “discover music,” or perhaps more accurately “tell EMI what will appeal to a 33-year-old woman from New York who listens to the radio occasionally.” Is this bringing the world of call-out research—in which randomly selected phone numbers get played minuscule snippets of songs and asked to provide a snap judgment—to the Internet, and major labels? I guess in the “throwing anything at the wall” era of the music business, what worked to help decimate interesting radio should help accelerate the majors’ demise.
I’m kidding, sort of. There are no surveys up yet, but the demographic questions asked to potential panel members seem to try and pinpoint the music-consumption habits of people. Among the queries in the sign-up process:
• In the last 12 months, have you paid for downloads, paid for CDs, or engaged in freeloading?
• How important is music to your life? (Notable: One answer is that it’s “no longer as important” as it was in the old days?
• Do you listen to the radio when you’re at home alone?
• Are you not buying music because of the recession? (Someone get Duff McKagan on the line.)
And so on. EMI is also apparently trying to diversify into the lucrative demographic of “people who won’t be conceived for another nine years or so”:
Hey, emerging markets are everywhere if you’re just creative, right? Anyway, we should all sign up for this—at the very least, we could maybe see what crevice in the pop-culture sidewalk the next Katy Perry might ooze out of.
EMI SoundCheck [Official site]