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    David James Archuleta (born December 28, 1990) is an American singer-songwriter and actor. At ten years old, he won the children's division of the Utah Talent Competition leading to other television singing appearances.[6] When he was twelve years old, Archuleta became the Junior Vocal Champion on Star Search 2.[6] In 2007, at sixteen years old, he became one of the youngest contestants on the seventh season of American Idol.[7] In May 2008 he finished as the runner-up, receiving 44 percent of over 97 million votes.

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Archive for July 26th, 2010

Radio Rant

Posted by Abrra on Monday, July 26, 2010

As I read through my regular route of fan sites recently, I saw an all to familiar trend. Fans being anxious over the fall in numbers on iTunes pop chart for David’s new single “Something ‘bout Love.”  I will be first in line to say that I know very little about how artist promotion is supposed to function. That being said, I do know how David’s past promotion worked for him. Crush was promoted in stellar fashion on Z100, the largest pop radio station in New York City. The Crush video made it to number one on VHI Hits on television mainly due to fans voting on their website. It remained there for a record-setting five weeks in a row.  Without listing the many appearances and opportunities that he had since Crush and the first CD came out, David has been VERY busy in his career.  He has worked constantly since the Idols Live! Tour ended in 2008.  I am not going to make final judgment on the promotion of Something ’bout Love until it gets to radio on August 2nd.

We, his loyal fans, support David by purchasing multiple copies of anything he puts out. We distribute his music and book to anyone who we think might have an interest. At the risk of heresy, I think there has to be a limit to what we do.  Do we not want David to gain new fans who will buy his music? How can the initial climb on the iTunes chart be real if it is composed of die-hard fans buying 20 copies at a time? Propping up sales doesn’t give a true accounting of how an artist is selling.  At some point his management has to take the lead in further promoting his new material. The promotion, marketing, and sales are handled by the label. The marketing department creates advertising and publicity for the CD, album artwork, promotional videos, t-shirts and posters to support the CD. Promotion is responsible for getting the song played on the radio.  Sales reps get the song into stores or iTunes for digital music.

The availability of only the most costly CD package being marketed to international fans is unfair in my judgment. When the shipping cost is added in, the cost can nearly double, not to mention the increases over all due to money exchange rates. Why not offer all the packages? Is it not called the world-wide web?  Would they not sell more by opening up the full store to all the fans?  It smacks of a wrong-headed greed that fails to view the big picture. That short-sightedness is costing them sales on a global scale.

I also have questions about how management has handled his official site store and the fact that they released the song via streaming online. It is a double-edged sword when artists material is released to the net before it can be purchased legally.  Releasing Something ‘bout Love for streaming is asking for piracy. Why give a head start to the illegal download pirates? By the time the song is released to iTunes, we have an initial #21 pop song placement that drops to # 64 in a matter of days. There is something to be said for containing the release closer to the actual time of radio air play, so that when we hear the song we expect to hear it on the radio soon afterward. That’s not how it works unfortunately.  Labels hire “independent promoters” called “indies,” who then guarantee a fixed annual or monthly sum of money to the radio station group or individual station. This is a side step around the perception of “pay for play.”

“An indie approaches a radio station manager or group owner about becoming their exclusive representative.  In exchange, the indie will pay the station an annual payment of $75,000 to $100,000 per year (for medium-sized markets) for “promotional support.”  This means the indie gives the station money, vacations, or gifts in other forms (often gift cards or American Express money cards) that they can use for their promotions, or for whatever use they choose.  Because the “gifts” are to be used for promotions, the pay-for-play is side-stepped.  The station’s part of the deal is to add songs the indie recommends to their play lists.  These are called “adds” in the business.  Most stations have an average of three adds each week. ”

On the surface it seems the higher fee paid, the more play for an artist. This is a clue as to why we hear more of  some artists than others. Gone are the days when radio program directors choose a play list based solely on listener input or sales.

At the end of the day, I am a die-hard fan of David Archuleta. I will do anything possible to support him. I have a selfish interest in seeing him continue to make music that reaches all the world.  Having him in my life, for the rest of my life, is all I ask. I yearn to see him succeed beyond his own, and even my, far-reaching expectations.

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