TV’s breaking boosts

by Gazette Reporter

Stevie Nicks recently said that the internet is killing music. It’s true, illegal downloading is costing many artists dearly and, some argue, it means new talent is finding it harder to break into the music business.

There is some good news, though. While artists’ music is getting tangled up in the world wide web, the small screen is breathing new life into old tracks.

Bands and singers whose bread and butter is from record sales, (legal) downloads and tours are also cashing in from television shows using their music.

60s British rockers Badfinger are reaping the benefits of one of this year’s most popular TV shows: Breaking Bad. The band’s 1971 hit Baby Blue has become one of the biggest tracks of 2013 after featuring in the show’s penultimate episode.

Fans had just said goodbye to anti-hero Walter White, when Baby Blue raced to the top of the iTunes charts. The US Billboard charts reported a 3,000% sales gain, while music streaming site Spotify reported a 9,000% increase in the song’s streaming.

And it’s not just Breaking Bad that has seen old songs breaking new records; Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’, from their Escape album didn’t even chart in the UK when it was released in 1981.

Fast-forward 26 years and the song got to Number 6 in the charts after featuring in the final episode of The Sopranos.

Snow Patrol credit much of their success in America to their 2006 single Chasing Cars being featured on a weepy scene of hospital drama Grey’s Anatomy.

So Stevie, don’t worry too much: if video killed the radio star, then TV’s creating new life for old songs. Vote with your remote and keep the industry alive!

Dee Woods presents Nova Nights from Monday to Friday from 7pm to midnight, and Sundays from 12 noon to 2pm. You can follow her on Twitter @RaDeeOh

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