A rap song can easily hit number one on the Billboard charts because of internet memes and streaming services like YouTube and Spotify. With the exception of Adele, CD sales and digital downloads have gone down because it is very easy to stream on-demand music for free or for a small monthly fee.
However, the old fashioned TV remains to be the quickest way to reach millions of people who will checkout the music and even buy it. For example, the past week saw two of the biggest record-breaking industry events – The Grammy Awards and The Super Bowl halftime show. The two events effectively demonstrate the effects of TV on an artist’s commercial success.
More than 20 million watched the Grammy Awards and they know that Adele won the top honours instead of Beyonce. The event earned an additional one million viewers compared to last year. During the Super Bowl halftime show, Lady Gaga performed and earned 117.5 million viewers. From the million viewers of the popular events, at least a fraction will be influenced to seek out the music they heard through Spotify or Apple Music.
The performance of Lady Gaga was the biggest winner because her album “Joanne” which was a modest seller leaped to Number 2 from Number 66 the week after the Super Bowl. From her old albums, Lady Gaga sold 410,000 downloads from her catalogue the week after the football event.
Grammy performers and award winners also experienced similar surges but on a relatively smaller scale. The day before the Grammy, Sturgill Simpson’s song “All Around You” only sold 20 downloads but after he performed the song live at the Grammy, he sold 2,200 downloads. “That’s What I Like”, the new single of Bruno Mars that he performed earned him 22,800 downloads. While it does not exactly translate to riches, the screen time at the events generated increased name recognition.
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