The Intersection of TV and Music

It’s always interesting to see what songs kids are listening to, and what TV they’re watching. But sometimes it’s even more intriguing to see the intersection of the two.

This week on American Idol (most recently the second most watched show on TV on any given week), Lady Gaga came on as the “mentor” to the top four (which actually created some pretty funny moments with Scotty, the church-going country boy who ended up kissing his cross necklace a few times after interacting with Gaga). Then Enrique Eglesias came on and sang his song, Dirty Dancer.

The question is, does this TV exposure boost these artists’ popularity? Do kids actually buy their music after seeing them perform on Idol?

The answer is a big “yes.” Take a look at one of the best indicators- iTunes. iTunes always provides a minute by minute glance at what people are buying. Look at iTunes right now:  (which will probably change a bit even if you were to pop on right now)

Adele is still #1 with Rolling in the Deep, and Gaga sits in second with her song The Edge of Glory.

But notice #4. Enrique’s Dirty Dancer is quickly rising ever since his performance on Idol.

But Idol isn’t the only TV kids are watching. On the same network (Fox), Glee continues to draw a young audience, who every week rushes to iTunes to buy their newest songs. Take a peek for yourself. As of this moment, Glee songs take the 8th and 10th slots on the iTunes charts.

iTunes isn’t the only place kids download music. That’s why Neilson’s numbers give us a good look at the top songs that kids are buying over all. Here’s this week’s chart:

(a lot of similarities to the iTunes chart, huh?)

As parents and youth workers, when it comes to our kids, I encourage you to occasionally “take a look at their many idols” (Acts 17) and familiarize yourself with them. Simply check the charts, then quickly Google the lyrics and peek for yourselves what these kids are simmering in for an average of over 2 and a half hours per day. (More on exploring the effects of media on our kids here)

Then… like the Paul did in Acts 17… respond by reasoning with them in healthy dialogue, and steering those conversations toward the Gospel.

We try to help you do this with free resources on our parent and youth worker web sites like our MUSIC DISCUSSIONS page and MOVIE REVIEWS & QUICK Q’s. Use these resources to steer toward the Gospel day to day!

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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