Freddie Matthews writes from London: Justin Bieber is a modern day singing sensation and a multi-million dollar teen phenomenon. But despite this I personally can’t stand his sugary tracks. Watch this space as the ‘hashtag’ #belieber and #bieber fans strike me down with a barrage of hate mail, courtesy of his over 20 million, yes that many @justinbieber Twitter followers. This is second only to @ladygaga.
Hearing Bieber’s songs is like listening to a soggy cabbage in a food blender. It’s dull, repetitive, massively over produced and I’m pretty sure he uses autotune.
You can’t however argue with Bieber’s success. In the last three years alone he’s sold over 15 million albums. (Who buys this rubbish, you my ask. We’ll get on to that later.) He was the first artist ever to have 7 songs from the same debut album in the US Billboard Top 100 singles chart and he’s still only 18-years-old. Amazingly, he’s considered the 3rd most powerful celebrity in the US and is reportedly worth over £100 million. This just shows that financial gain in the music industry is no longer just about record sales.
After being scouted by a man with an equally bizarre name, Scooter Braun, despite a bidding war to sign him, including interest from former NSYNC singer/actor Justin Timberlake, as well as many other parties, Justin finally signed for Usher’s label and management company. Usher himself is no stranger to the highs and lows of the music industry having sold over 65 million records. (Is Bieber part of Usher’s retirement plan, I wonder.)
But seriously, who’s actually stupid enough to be buying this Canadian pop sensation’s music? For starters, anyone in the USA who had watched his performance for the President and First Lady of Stevie Wonder’s song Someday At Christmas, at the White House Christmas party in 2009. A lot of these people probably went out and bought something for their kids that week. That audience alone was in tens of millions. If they hadn’t heard of Justin they sure found out about him after that gig in the White House.
Due to his popularity, Beiber has racks of dedicated servers at Twitter and is more influential than Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama. This is thanks in part to his initial social media venture, in the form of his YouTube channel. YouTube, on the whole, is core demographic teenage driven and even before his record deal Justin Bieber’s YouTube channel had several million followers.
Beiber sounds and looks younger than his age and his music is teen focused because that’s where his market lies. But would Michael Jackson (MJ) or a whole host of other teenage singers have been more popular had they also had the same access to such social media available to them in their early careers? Imagine if the late MJ, who started his singing career in 1971, had had access to Twitter, Facebook or any other social media platforms back then. For starters MJ would have saved a fortune on advertising alone as modern day social media generates and produces that for free and my, there certainly were times when MJ really needed the money. The 1982 Thriller album sold 110 million copies worldwide and like the football team Manchester United, Jackson was two words that people, regardless of nationality, knew worldwide.
This information should put a whole shed load of perspective into the Justin Bieber mix for us all. He’s not ‘all that’ yet and please never forget that Michael Jackson’s legacy stands at over 750 million records sold worldwide. A figure which still increases by the second.
Beat that @justinbieber .