The Pearl Jam Channel…Discuss

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I have to admit, I was pretty surprised by this. I got an email from Sirius yesterday announcing the new 24-hour Pearl Jam channel. While I was initially taken aback because it took the number of one of my go-to channels, Jam On (#17), and moved it way up the dial to #81.

But a bigger question here: does PJ warrant its own channel, filled with “archival concerts from Pearl Jam’s celebrated career, plus unreleased material from the group’s personal music library and side projects, including solo and pre-Pearl Jam music”?

Let’s put this in context. Sirius previously had four other channels devoted to single artists:

  • Elvis (no-brainer)
  • Grateful Dead (niche, sure, but an almost endless amount of available stuff to play for an obsessive fan base)
  • Springsteen
  • Jimmy Buffet (I’ll tell you anything you want to know. Just turn it off.)

Pearl Jam is an important band, sure. Going back to our discussion here about the greatest American bands, they’re certainly in the conversation. But I’m frankly surprised there’s a market for this channel. You’ve got a devoted fan base, and like the Dead and Bruce, they make a lot of live material freely available. But we’re still talking about a band who only has ten official releases over a 20-year career and appeals to a somewhat narrow band of rock fans, to say nothing of music fans.

I’ll be curious to see how long it lasts.

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