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THIS WEEK SEES THE RELEASE OF THE VIDEO FOR JUDAS, AS THE promotional efforts for the new Lady GaGa album Born This Way move up a gear.
SOCIAL MEDIA IMPACTS ON RELEASE PLANS
The album, the follow-up to the multi-platinum The Fame/The Fame Monster, has already spawned two UK hits in Born This Way and Judas, which were both part of the on air/on sale initiative launched earlier this year (see story below).
The album is set for release by Interscope/Polydor on May 23, with the original 14-song album joined by an international bonus track in the UK.
The Special Edition has 22 songs, with one additional international bonus track. It is split into two CDs, with the first featuring 17 songs and the second five remixes and the international bonus track.
The album has already topped the pre-release charts at HMV and Play.com and reached number two at Amazon.co.uk.
THE VITAL IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL media in release strategies has been demonstrated by a survey of onair/on-sale singles through artist tracking service Musicmetric.
Data from Musicmetric.com shows how strong spikes in Facebook, YouTube and Twitter activity are a key factor in the success of day-anddate releases. It also shows how differences between acts can impact on release strategy.
In support of the release GaGa has started to hit the promotional trail, performing Judas on US talk show Ellen last Thursday, as well as being interviewed by ITV1 morning show Daybreak on the set for the Judas video. The video for Judas is released this week with the song already on the Radio 1 A-list.
Established acts such as Lady GaGa have a huge headstart with almost 33m Facebook fans and around 9.6m Twitter followers to mobilise.
GaGa finishes her vast Monster Ball tour, which started in 2009, this Friday in Mexico City. She then comes back to the UK to appear at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Carlisle on May 15.
Radio 1 head of music George Ergatoudis said, “We are optimistic she is going to have a string of hits on the back of this record.”
GaGa has sold an estimated 15m albums and 51m singles worldwide and has more than 1bn combined views of all her videos online.
MW RESEARCH SHEDS LIGHT ON OUTCOME OF ON AIR/ON SALE SHAKE-UP
Release revolution in full swing
EXCLUSIVE ■ BY PAUL WILLIAMS
THE MUCH-TRUMPETED on air/on sale revolution appears to be delivering on its promises, with music fans now able to buy most brand new tracks almost as soon as they hear them on the radio.
Exclusive research by Music Week into the first three months of the initiative – in which Universal and Sony joined independent labels in vowing to make their new releases available to purchase as they go to radio – reveals that in the vast majority of cases labels are sticking to the plan.
The initiative also seems to be achieving its aim of fighting online piracy, with Universal reporting P2P traffic around new releases has dropped, as consumers now have the option of buying tracks legally as soon as they hear them.
The research reveals Born This Way by Lady GaGa, Run The World (Girls) by Beyoncé (right) and Arctic Monkeys’ Don’t Sit Down ’Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair were among 54% of brand new tracks to have cracked the OCC Top 40 since the policy rolled out that were available to buy at the same time as their radio debuts.
The closing of the airplay/sales window has resulted in a slowing down of the chart, with fewer tracks now debuting high week one, but instead entering lower and then progressing.
Another 11% of tracks in this period went on sale just a week after first being aired. Among the remaining 35% of tracks,
some only slipped through the on air/on sale net because they had already gone to radio before the initiative kicked in fully.
However, the research also reveals consumers are still being made to wait up to two months or more to buy some tracks, including the chart-topping On The Floor by Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull and Unorthodox by Wretch 32 featuring Example. firstname.lastname@example.org
»See pages 14–16 for more on air/on sale analysis
Following the February 11 release of Born This Way, the number of new followers to GaGa’s Twitter site rose by more than 90% to 31,114. And YouTube plays dramatically increased by 385% to 250,000, from the day before to two days after the release.
Another day-and-date release, Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO, was a slower burn but was driven up the charts by a viral video a month after the single release. YouTube plays for the band increased tenfold with the video to nearly 740,000, heading to a peak of 1.18m
For new acts, riding the buzz is more difficult but Jessie J made impressive use of Twitter in establishing a rapport with an audience that translated into a fanbase for her day-and-date releases.
“There is a definite incentive for artists to accurately and quickly explore ways of finding out what really works in building a fanbase across social networks that becomes an authentic rapport,” said Marie-Alicia Chang, co-founder of Musicmetric.
“There is a knack to understanding how these things pan out, however, and a lot of artists, managers and marketers are still finding their feet.”
MusicWeekand Musicmetric will be partnering on a number of projects exploring this area over the coming months.
3 WEEKS TO GO UNTIL THE MUSIC WEEK AWARDS • ROUNDHOUSE, CAMDEN • 24.05.11 • www.musicweekawards.com