The date was May 6, 2016, and it was a monumental day in the wedding dance music world. The reason was simple: Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop The Feeling” had been released earlier that day.
And, the best part about all of this was that I had a wedding that night.
Twitter was on fire over this song, people were loving it… absolutely losing their minds. And, the celebrity-packed music video was making its rounds around social media as well.
So what did I do? Well, I downloaded it from my music subscription service immediately, knowing that the moment I dropped into it, all of the wedding guests would need to be carried off the dance floor at the end of the song. At least that’s the image I had in my mind.
So eventually, at approximately 9:12 EST, the timing was right for me to play “Can’t Stop The Feeling.” I faded into the song right where Justin begins the lyrics– “I got this feeling, inside my bones…” And I’m standing there, smiling from ear to ear, knowing that people will be so impressed that I already had the song that they just started hearing on the radio that same day.
But something odd happened. Only a handful of teenagers on the dance floor knew the song. Everybody else either left the dance floor, or went through the motions, enjoying the song without really knowing it.
The funny thing is, that this happens all the time with Top-40 at a lot of weddings.
Think about it, how old are you? If you fit into the ages of 26-32, you’re the average age of the couple we work with.
What types of music do most 26-32 year olds that you know listen to?
I know very few that listen primarily to Top 40. Maybe they’ll know a handful of the popular songs, but I don’t know anybody in that age range that passionately loves the popular music that’s on the radio.
The data confirms this. Check out this study done by Spotify, as recorded in Daily Mail.com:
“The study, conducted by analysts at Spotify and Echo Nest, also showed the youngest listeners – aged between 13 and 14 years-old – almost exclusively play tunes by artists at the top of the charts.
From around the age of 15 years-old, music tastes begin to mature and expand as listeners increase the diversity of the music on their playlists.
Tastes appear to change most quickly through the teenage years until the age of about 25 when this sense of discovery slows and people move away from mainstream artists.”
This quote is super important to keep in mind as we plan your wedding music. Who are the people that actually listen to Top 40? Tweens. Probably not the target demographic of your big day.
So, what’s the solution? Well, it’s exactly what we discussed here. Make a mental list of the predominate age groups that will be at your wedding and plan music that they will know and love. Sprinkle in some brand new Top 40, but don’t expect that the 20 hottest dance tunes of 2017 will necessarily garner a crowd. What works at a middle school dance will not work at your wedding, unfortunately. But, you can be sure that the top 5-7 hottest songs of 2017 will get people excited. And, it’ll keep things fresh.
To read about the best time to showcase your Indie Jams, click here.
To learn more about how many songs you should request for your wedding, click here.