Hannah Montana: Pop Culture Phenomenon

You’d have to go back more than 30 years to David Cassidy and “The Partridge Family” to find a pop icon as significant as Miley Cyrus. Born first from television and then from resulting record sales, both are sensations of their respective generations; with Cyrus’ rise almost anomalous to what is happening in hers.

At a time when CD sales are sinking, in favor of ring tones and downloads, Hannah Montana’s record shot to Number One on the Billboard charts. How? Because they are purchased by a generation that still buys CDs: the parents of the kids that watch “Hannah Montana.” Similarly, sold-out concerts and tickets to the new Montana movie are fueled by moms and dads happy for an opportunity to bond with their children while enjoying harmless, wholesome, family-oriented entertainment fare. Tanner Friedman was quoted in the media on this phenomenon in recent days.

It is also interesting how radio virtually ignores Cyrus (save Disney radio), just as David Cassidy couldn’t get an airplay break (save “I Think I Love You”) in his day. Another sidebar that demonstrates how terrestrial radio is out of touch with the “next” generation; something television (Cyrus performs tonight during the Grammy’s) and online media are only too happy to exploit.