One of the three largest record labels in the world, Universal Music, is releasing an album for cats. The album is not of cats. Nor does the album feature cats. The album is for cats. Is this a sign of the apocalypse for the music industry or simply clever marketing?
The Guardian’s view, per their article titled “A major music label is fighting falling sales by targeting under-served feline listeners,” is that such a move is an indicator of how dire times have become for the music industry. According to a Universal Music spokesperson, the project is “absolutely serious” and not some type of marketing gimmick as animals are a huge untapped market.
The album, Music for Cats, which was started with Kickstarter campaign funding and composed by cellist and music researcher David Teie, features musicians from the U.S. National Symphony Orchestra. The recording, which also contains purring and suckling noises, is purportedly the first product from a major music label not meant for human consumption.
This unique project reveals that Universal might be making a smart financial investment in a novel economic opportunity. Even though cats may not be considered people’s favorite pet, there is no easier customer to cater toward than a besotted animal lover. For evidence, just consider the ever-growing market of pet items and paraphernalia ranging from gourmet food to clothes. For cat owners this is especially true as it has been discovered cats tend to evoke an unusual fondness from their masters.
Regardless, the move is still pretty telling regarding the state of the record industry. David Teie, who is actually allergic to cats, said “If you really look into it, what’s silly is the idea that only one species could have music available for it.”
Music for Cats will start selling around the world on October 28th. According to Universal Music, if Teie’s album is successful, music for dogs and horses may soon follow.