There is a story over at the NewYorker from a while back about the One Hit Wonder known as “Candy Crush Saga”.
As we all know by now millions upon millions of people around the world play Candy Crush Saga.
– It is a free download and it has been downloaded over half a billion times.
– A person can play the game for free.
– However, certain users of the game are willing to pay for extra lives and various performance boosting tools while the other users are happy to remain on the game without paying for any extras.
– The Irish company “King Digital Entertainment” who is the maker of the game had close to two billion dollars in sales, with a pure profit margin of $567 million.
It seems like there is a lot of money to be made if there is a freemium option available especially if you have a star product to push.
King Digital has over a hundred different games that are available, however it is Candy Crush that brings in the money. It is King Digital’s “star product”.
Even in music, bands normally have hundreds of other songs or countless albums in existence, however it is that one star product that they are known for, except for the few great acts who would have multiple star products.
Metallica had “Master Of Puppets” and “The Black” album.
Motley Crue had “Shout At The Devil” and “Dr Feelgood”.
Dream Theater had “Images and Words” and “Scenes For A Memory”.
Machine Head had “Burn My Eyes” and “The Blackening”.
AC/DC had “Back In Black”.
Def Leppard had “Pyromania” and “Hysteria”.
Ronnie James Dio was a true legend by having a few star products in different acts. First off was Rainbow then Black Sabbath and then as a solo artist with “Holy Diver”.
Kingdom Come had their self titled debut.
Skid Row had “Slave To The Grind”.
Bon Jovi had “Slippery When Wet”.
Twisted Sister had “Stay Hungry”.
RATT had “Out Of The Cellar”.
Quiet Riot had “Metal Health”.
Ozzy Osbourne had “Blizzard Of Ozz” and “No More Tears” as a solo artist.
The world of heavy metal and hard rock contains many more examples. In the end luck plays a huge part in breaking music to the masses.
And as the article eludes too, most new products fail in general. In the music industry, the failure rate of new music is amplified and as it is an industry that faces a lot of competition between the acts alone.
And as with everything that rises it eventually falls. The true greats pick themselves up and rise again, while the ones in it for the money just fade away. Check out this quote;
“Typically, companies will have that one big product, and then they’ll sell some sequels to it. But, unless they manage to become the center of an ecosystem, over time they tend to weaken and disappear.”
By Michael Cusumano, a professor at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management
There is a lot of truth in that.
Remember when Bon Jovi rewrote “Slippery When Wet” and called it “New Jersey”.
Or when bands rewrote their main hit song over and over again trying hard to recapture the success
Music is a competitive, hit-driven industry and there is no guaranteed recipe for success. But in order to give it a shot you need to know how to play your instrument and you need to practice your songwriting skills.