Know your freaky sub-genre

This is an (awesome) article in the Wall Street Journal on what is called hick-hop, which blends hip-hop with country music and delights me to no end. (Some of it's straight-up novelty rap--coughcough"Rodeo"coughcough--but some of it's true fusion, which is always cool in my book.)

What's interesting about it from a business perspective is how they've figured out how to sell it. They're using services like Pandora to literally map places where people like hick-hop, and then they're holding concerts and selling CDs there.

Selling CDs? Yeah, well, it turns out that country-music fans still buy CDs (you know, because CDs are so homey and traditional), so Wal-Mart was willing to try carrying hick-hop, and by George, it worked!

It's fascinating to me because not only does it once again prove that people don't just want to eat Big Macs no matter what the "experts" think, but it also shows the fallacy of one-size-fits-all marketing strategies: If you look at the music industry as a whole, CDs are a dead end, but if you look at the country-music industry, CDs are doing great. The more you know about your particular audience, the better off you're going to be. And if you don't know that much (perhaps because it's such a new genre), try to find out what fans of similar genres do and see if yours do the same.