$4,000 gives a teenager overnight success despite mediocrity
If you haven’t had the ‘pleasure’ of hearing Rebecca Black’s over-night YouTube sensation ‘Friday’ count yourself lucky. But since the video has more than 132 million views and has spawned countless parody videos and a Glee cover, it’s unlikely you’ve missed this little diddy.
The thing that amazes me about this song and accompanying video is the fact that it is so popular because it is so horrible. Welcome to the world of new media – where the people determine what’s popular not just a few media personalities. No one argues that Rebecca Black has a less-than-amazing voice. Nor is the song going to win any awards for the fine writing it showcases. The lyrics include lines like, “Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday. Today i-is Friday, Friday… Tomorrow is Saturday. And Sunday comes after ... wards.” Rather, the song and singer have made it big thanks to people sharing the train wreck.
The history behind the song, is that Rebecca’s parents paid the ARK Music factory $4,000 for the creation of the song and video. The record label makes money by writing songs and creating low-budget videos for those who pay for the privilege. They have also made a video entitled ‘Butterflies’ for Alana Lee and recently released a song called ‘Hooked on You’ by Devin Fox. Most of its clients are tweens and teens, while the songs rely heavily on pop beats and auto-tune which computer-corrects the singer’s voice.
The music industry used to be a little harder to break into and vocal talent usually helped. But despite the poor reviews and millions of ‘dislikes’ on the video, Rebecca Black and the record label is finding the song to be a success. According to Forbes magazine the video has made at least $20,000 on YouTube based on the revenue sharing policy. iTunes sales have also brought in an additional $26,000. Not bad for a song that cost $4,000.
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