Sure, 2014 may be on track to be the worst year in SoundScan's history for music sales, but there might be some bright spots in some very unsuspecting corners: PornHub and Urban Outfitters.
Today, the pornography site announced that it was starting its own label, in a report from Billboard. And yesterday, the clothing and home goods retailer claimed to be "the world's number one vinyl seller," according to Buzzfeed.
(Pictured: Lana Del Rey, whose most recent record "UltraViolence" can be bought now via Urban Outfitters as an "exclusive edition" on blue and lavender vinyl with special album art.)
As for the former, PornHub Records has launched, and coincides with a Song Search Contest to find a "PornHub Anthem." The winner won't necessarily be signed to the label, but is guaranteed to be have chosen from a panel (chock full of who we assume will be very distinguished guests) and the winning music video to be seen by at least 500,000 viewers, with $5,000 to be pocketed.
Keep in mind, PornHub averages about 40 million pageviews a day. How's that day job of yours. Good.
PornHub has hosted premieres of music video content like electronic producer FaltyDL's "Some Jazz Sh*t" video, Coolio's aptly named "Take It To The Hub" and Xiu Xiu's "Black D*ck."
"We're looking for acts that aren't necessarily porn-focused," said PornHub vice president Corey Price of their label model. "We're an ad-based network looking for content that appeals to our demographic. Mature lyrics for an adult audience; no boy bands or teen-pop, for instance."
As for Urban Outfitters' demo, there takes a little wordsmithing to make their case, but according to business reporter Sapne Maheshwari, this is what chief administrating officer Calvin Hollinger said during a meeting with analysts yesterday: "Music is very, very important to the Urban customer… in fact, we are the world’s number one vinyl seller.”
Instead of UO owning its own inventory, it offers wares through about 100 vendors who are already in the marketplace instead. So it's really connecting those businesses to the buyers.
As for either really saving the music industry? Not really happening. Vinyl records sales are still a drop in the hat compared to digital and CD albums (like, the difference of a hundred million) and PornHub's music appeal will really all depend on how they release and promote their, um, output.
But, hey, this is what they mean when they say music is a "lifestyle."