This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

You May Never Hear This Year's 'Song of the Summer'

PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- Nobody has any idea what the song of the summer is going to be.

The Guardian really likes Ed Sheeran's Sing and the Ariana Grande/Iggy Azalea track Problem with the Thrift Shop horns it copped from Macklemore. Billboard likes those two as well but tossed them in with 38 others... all of which it ranked behind Azalea's Fancy.

Basically, the establishment likes Australian hip-hop and isn't so sure that a Justin Timberlake/Michael Jackson mashup has staying power, or that Calvin Harris' Summer, already up to nearly 37 million spins on YouTube, hasn't hit its dance floor peak.

But the bigger problem is that the summer song formula is now forever broken and a combination of social media and advancing technology are in no rush to piece it back together again.

Here's how it used to work: A record label released a single to radio sometime in spring, produced a video shortly thereafter, let it ferment for a few months and then watched the money roll in just in time for a summer tour. For example, Katy Perry's people at Capitol Records dropped I Kissed A Girl in April 2008 to make it that summer's biggest single and held off until early May of 2010 to launch that summer's gigantic California Gurls.

In 2009, The Black Eyed Peas and Interscope Records waited until May 21 to release I Gotta Feeling and it still took over the summer charts by the Fourth of July. Even now-defunct LMFAO and Interscope managed to pull it off after releasing Party Rock Anthem in early March 2011, only to see it sell seven million downloads by July.

But radio -- regular, satellite, streaming or otherwise -- isn't where new music lives anymore. Rocco Pendola likes to think that's not so, pointing to Cumulus radio's presence on ClearChannel's iHeartRadio app (the second most popular in the U.S. behind Pandora (P) and just ahead of Apple's (AAPL) iTunes radio) and on streaming service Rdio. But the 32% uptick in streaming recorded by Nielsen Soundscan last year went to AOL (AOL), Cricket, Medianet, Rdio, Rhapsody, Slacker, Spotify, YouTube (owned by Google (GOOGL)), Vevo (a joint venture in which Google has an stake) and Zune. That's a bunch of streaming and social network fodder that never touches the radio dial.

Even when it does, in the case of iHeartRadio, ClearChannel only manages a 9% stake in the overall streaming market -- compared to 31% for first-place Pandora. But, as Carlton Wilkinson notes, only vinyl-buying fogies who want to hermetically seal themselves in the past listen to streaming stations with any frequency. While much of the country might catch a Tove Lo, Bleachers, Clean Bandit or KONGOS track here or there, fans have been putting each other on to Jhene Aiko, DJ Snake and MKTO by sending tracks and videos through WeChat, SnapChat, WhatsApp and multiple other social platforms.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,015.40 -24.09 -0.14%
S&P 500 1,989.58 -2.79 -0.14%
NASDAQ 4,539.6090 +7.5050 0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs