Forget MTV: The new music-star makers are Apple’s iPod ads

“Since 2001, small, independent bands appearing in iPod commercials have sold thousands of records, been placed on numerous Billboard charts, and drawn the respect and admiration of music fans around the world. Apple’s promotional influence has grown so great that music industry insiders now compare it with Oprah Winfrey’s ability to create best-sellers through her book club,” Chris Cadelago reports for The San francisco Chronicle.

“CSS (Cansei de Ser Sexy, a Portuguese translation of ‘tired of being sexy,’ taken from a Beyoncé Knowles quote) released its debut album in July 2006. American fans and critics touted the group for its high-energy act and playful innocence. But CSS soon learned that buzz, rave reviews and a small indie following do not necessarily translate into lofty record sales. The album sold just 340 copies per week through October, according to Nielsen SoundScan,” Cadelago reports.

“Then the iPod Touch commercial premiered on Oct. 28. In the next two weeks, CSS sold 2,000 records and climbed to No. 15 in song downloads and No. 5 in ring tone sales at Apple’s iTunes Store,” Cadelago reports. “‘This is one of the rare instances where we can point to a single event and say, ‘This is for sure what’s driving all of our record sales,” said Tony Kiewel, CSS’s agent at Sub Pop records. ‘The band is completely absent from this country and has been for ages. And the record is over a year old.’ CSS’s year-old record now stands at No. 19 on Billboard’s Top Electronic Album chart, and ‘Music is My Hot, Hot Sex’ has since broke onto the all-important Pop 100 chart.”

“The Canadian band Feist was quick to realize the benefits of its Apple partnership. Headed by singer-songwriter Leslie Feist, it released ‘The Reminder’ on May 1, a well-reviewed collection of alternative and folk songs. The record sold decently – 31,000 its first week and 21,000 the next, according to SoundScan. On Sept. 9, when its song ‘1234’ was paired with Apple’s new iPod video Nano, the band was averaging 6,000 record sales weekly for a grand total of 216,000,” Cadelago reports.

“Feist’s single placed seven times on Billboard charts, climbing as high as No. 4 on Hot Digital Songs and No. 10 on the Pop 100 chart. At the iTunes Store, the record is No. 25 in album sales and No. 44 in song downloads,” Cadelago reports. “On Nov. 3, Feist secured the highly coveted musical guest spot on Saturday Night Live. And as of last Saturday, ‘The Reminder’ had sold 346,000 total records, 130,000 additional sales since the iPod commercial premiered.”

Much more in the full article here.


  1. Exposure and conditioning of the public, controlling what the radio stations play.

    This is what makes the RIAA and the Labels so powerful.

    Apple is circumventing that.

    Apple Records was right after all. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  2. I actually found fiest’s music video “1234” before it appeared on the iPod add, haven’t bought the album yet, and I had 1 song from CSS before the iPhone commercial, but not that one, and after hearing it I bought it from iTunes and made it one of my ringtones. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    I actually seem to find more of my music through music videos (have over 300 so far and keep getting more) but I’ll listen to a lot of different music and will buy a lot of different music. People never know quite what they’ll find in my library. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  3. I listen to NPR radio… but not regular music radio. I have learned about a number of great singers and bands on NPR, though, such as Linnzi Zaorski. I especially love Linnzi’s cover of the song “When I Get Low, I Get High.”

    iTunes should use some music by Sissel in their ads. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> Sissel is my all-time favorite singer.

  4. Pete:

    Anyone with access to print, radio, television, satellite, cable, internet, etc. can or will use these media for distributing news, information, propaganda, lies, and pabulum. To think that anyone promoting a particular view, opinion, or interest by any means possible is novel or unexpected is ignorant of human nature.

    Mr. Reee:

    If you wish to offer a better solution to the plans or proposals of your critics or opponents, do it. Obviously, the only counterpoint that you are capable of is a litany of insults and childish name-calling. I reckon that this make you no better than those that you criticize as cretins.

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