Billboard’s 2012 Maximum Exposure

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Billboard’s Maximum Exposure chart ranks the 75 most effective platforms in music discovery. Essentially this chart rates the best ways to generate buzz and drive sales of a music release for established stars. The panel who creates this list is made up of prominent artist managers, record label executive, publicists and agents.

They compare various platforms such as TV advertisements, Super Bowl performances, coverage on Fox’s Glee, YouTube videos, social media activity, and many other platforms that help generate excitement to an artist’s release.

The top ten promotional platforms for this year where:

1.  A Superbowl halftime-show performance

2.  A Grammy Awards performance

3.  Homepage placement on iTunes

4.  Placement in TV commercial that runs during a special event

5.  A performance on Saturday Night Live

6.  An artist’s first arena-level headlining tour

7.  Placement in a high-rotation TV ad for a leading car company

8.  A performance during the Country Music Association Awards

9.  Placement in a high-rotation TV ad for a leading shoe brand

10.  A performance on Coachella’s mainstage

Simon Cowell is trying to launch X Factor USA winners using maximum exposure platforms, last year’s winner performed during half time at the Superbowl and this year’s winner will be performing at the Grammy’s next year.

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Sources: http://persisholdings.com/news/billboard-taps-golnar-khosrowshahi-for-maximum-exposure-issue/

Simon Cowell

Since my blogs have been focused on X Factor, it’s only fitting to write about the man behind the show.

Simon Cowell’s earnings as of May 2012, according to Forbes was $90 million! That makes him 9th in the money rankings, behind heavyweights like Oprah at no. 1, Michael Bay at 2, Steven Spielberg at 3, Jerry Bruckheimer at 4, Dr. Dre at 5, Tyler Perry at 6, Howard Stern at 7, and James Patterson at 8. What surprised me was that he is ahead of people like George Lucas and Donald Trump. I knew Simon had money but I didn’t think he was up in the top 10! He comes in at no. 18 on the celebrity 100, no.19 in TV/ radio, 28 in press, 79 in social and 84 in web.

Simon got his break into the music industry as an A&R through his dad’s connections (his dad was a music industry executive at EMI). He has created his wealth through television mainly. His time as a judge on American Idol helped him break into the US where he was known for his bluntness and insults. He started his X Factor franchise which has spread across the world and has signed chart-topping acts such as Leona Lewis and One Direction. His other show Britain’s Got Talent has generated other Got Talent shows and the show found acts like Susan Boyle who made a global impact. He also has numerous other shows. All of the acts from his shows are signed to his label Syco which is affiliated with Sony BMG.

Simon Cowell can smell money from a mile away. Where he sees an opportunity he jumps right in and makes a “killing.” He milks that particular project (or cow) until there is absolutely nothing left (e.g. X Factor UK, it really is dying). His most recent project is the Sony X headphones, yes, Simon Cowell has turned his hand to the consumer electronic market. This range of headphones has been seen at every possible opportunity during the X Factor USA shows and they are the official headphone partners of the talent show. His reason for making headphones is simply because he wanted something better than what is in the market today, as if there aren’t enough celebrities making headphones!

Another deal that he stuck is the partnership with Pepsi. Pepsi recently announced that it will be offering the X Factor USA winner a $5million Syco record deal AND a Grammy ad video!! This video will debut during the 2013 Grammy Awards which is the perfect opportunity to launch an artist’s career, on one of the biggest nights in the music calendar. Last years winner (Melanie Amaro) starred in a Pepsi commercial for the Super Bowl which was big but this is not only big but better as it’s music’s biggest night and introduces you to the whose who in music. Pepsi is one of music’s most powerful brands second only to Coca-Cola on Billboard’s 2012 Maximum Exposure chart which ranks the 75 most effective platforms in music discovery (something I will be writing about in my next blog). Pepsi have invested $60 million in X Factor marketing support alone.

Although X Factor UK numbers are dwindling week by week, his American version has been renewed for another season by Fox. It looks like Simon will be laughing all the way to the bank for a few more years.

Sources:

http://www.forbes.com/profile/simon-cowell/

http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/branding/exclusive-pepsi-offering-new-x-factor-winner-1007994942.story#6iyFIe7dSX7hOgox.99

 

 

The New Generation of Superstar

Admittedly, I was losing hope in the ability of talent shows to produce stars. Perhaps this is because the UK version of X Factor has been dodged by countless controversies not to mention the “novelty” acts that are put on the show just to piss people off.

 

Just when you were thinking talent shows no longer have the ability to create stars, enter Carly Rose Sonenclar and Diamond White. Whether or not they each have lasting careers is irrelevant right now, the girls can sing! They are both only 13 years old so can only get better! Carly’s audition and progress through the X Factor USA competition is remarkable. Shocking audiences with Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” in her first audition where L.A. Reid said “remember this day everybody. A star is born!” She went on to further stun audiences during her judges houses performance where Will.I.Am went as far as saying she is “possessed” with some crazy talent. See for yourself below:

 

Carly Rose Sonenclar performs at judges’ houses

Let’s not forget Diamond White, talk about a superstar name! She is out-of-this-world talented. She sings like a baby Whitney and is also only 13 years old! L.A. Reid told her that she truly is a “diamond.” When she sings, her competition might as well quit in my opinion.

 

There are some similarities between these girls and Christina Aguilera in terms of vocal talent at a young age. Christina auditioned for the Mickey Mouse Club at the same age and stunned audiences with her soulful performance of Whitney Houston’s “I have nothing.” If managed correctly, maybe they can individually have lasting careers like Christina’s (she is a bit off the music radar at the moment but manages to stay in the public eye through being a judge on The Voice). What does it take to manage young talent like this? Anyone lining up to manage the careers of Carly and Diamond, have the task of shaping their careers to build something long term since they are so young. How do you do this in an industry that is churning out music without meaning and sounds the same? How do you build a sound so unique and be a superstar all at once?

 

The age to audition is creeping lower and lower, with X Factor US allowing children as young as 12 to audition. Is it really fair to put a kid through the stress of these shows? Remember Rachel Crow’s breakdown when she was eliminated from X Factor US? But then, look at the talent of these young kids! Some of them sound like they’re 30 something with so much experience, it amazes me. I guess it’s a bit of a trade off, youth sells: look at Justin Bieber and One Direction fans, they’re kids.

 

Seeing as both these girls are super talented, here is Diamond White singing  “I have nothing” by Whitney Houston at bootcamp: