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Adam Lambert’s Star Power from an industry perspective 54 Susan Boyle, Britain’s Got Talent, AI9, Judges, RCA/Jive, Simon Cowell, Agreements, Voting June 1, 2009 at 11:47 am

It was pretty surprising about Susan Boyle (and for those that asked, Britain’s Got Talent charges people to vote… “Each phone vote costs 50p from a BT landline. Calls from other networks may be higher and from mobiles will be considerably more.15p from each phone vote goes to the Royal Variety charity, The Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund.” it’s a very different system). They also publish all the voting results after the finale: http://talent.itv.com/news/story/item_100233.htm. Keep in mind that Simon Cowell is the primary owner of Britain’s Got Talent (and the X Factor); Simon Fuller is the primary owner of American Idol. All are shows also owned by Fremantle. It’s very complicated.

My friend Tom O’Neil has a great site within the LA Times and wrote a brief story about whether both Susan and Adam are the real winners: http://goldderby.latimes.com/awards_goldderby/2009/05/susan-boyle-adam-lambert-news-847319526-story-.html. Tom wrote the definitive Emmy and Grammy books; would you all be interested in a Q&A with him? Maybe we could make a topic board for x days to ask questions.

Here we go already with AI9:
Here’s the schedule… they spend 3 days in each city, with the first two days ‘registration’ and the last day ‘audition.’
-Boston Gillette Stadium: 6/12/09 to 6/14/09
-Atlanta Georgia Dome: 6/16/09 to 6/18/09
-Los Angeles Rose Bowl: 6/28/09 to 6/30/09
-Orlando Arena: 7/07/09 to 7/09/09
-Denver Mile High: 7/12/09 to 7/14/09
-Chicago: Dates to be announced
-Dallas: Dates to be announced

So I guess we’ll know in the next 2 weeks whether all four judges will (likely) be back. It’s also an amazing reminder that contestants sign agreements with 19 to audition that their Options are until 3 months after the Finale… so someone auditioning June 14 in Boston won’t be able to sign other agreements (unless 19 agrees) until around August 2010! It’s amazing but that’s the price of admission and probably another 100,000 people will be doing that.

By the way, the official press FOX/AI press area is at: http://www.foxflash.com/div.php/main/page?aID=1z2z2z31 - it’s not intended for consumers but there are occasionally interesting stories so it’s worth bookmarking.

With respect to RCA/Jive: “RCA/JIVE Label Group, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, encompasses RCA Music Group (J Records, Arista Records, RCA Records, Polo Grounds, Black Seal and Battery Records) and JIVE Label Group (Jive Records, LaFace Records, Volcano Entertainment, Hitz Committee Entertainment, Battery Records and Verity Gospel Music Group). The RCA Music Group roster is home to platinum superstars Alicia Keys, Rod Stewart, Pearl Jam, Mario, Gavin DeGraw, Santana, Whitney Houston, Carrie Underwood, Barry Manilow, Dave Matthews Band, Foo Fighters, Velvet Revolver, Kelly Clarkson and more. JIVE Label Group is home to a varied group of top entertainers, including Marvin Sapp, Kirk Franklin, T-Pain, Huey, Lil Mama, Chris Brown, Ciara, Usher, Justin Timberlake, OutKast, and Three Days Grace to name a few.”

So it’s all the same corporate umbrella and Simon Cowell is a senior executive of Sony Music Entertainment. Generally, Artists are placed with labels based on genre and relationships… Britney & NSYNC were at Jive, but at the time it was BMG’s; then Sony and BMG merged, and in 2008 Sony bought out BMG so now it’s all Sony (notice how everything is complicated in entertainment? :). With respect to which label is signing which Artist, Simon Fuller’s label is 19/RCA, and that’s where, for example, “No Boundaries” was released. If Simon Cowell’s SYCO exercised its recording contract option (and everyone assumes he did) then it’s really an internal Sony matter in terms of which label will be releasing Adam’s CD. I’m hearing RCA but I haven’t seen an official release yet.

In terms of the rest of the agreements, they are all highly confidential (even Adam’s Mom has signed an NDA (non disclosure agreement): http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/watch_with_kristin/b126542_Adam_Lamberts_Mother_Talks_Sex_and_Contracts.html. Each agreement is going to be different with respect to term and termination; remember there’s a management agreement, a merchandising/licensing agreement, and a recording agreement (which usually is based on a number of albums, like 3-5). Anyone who knows the details can not discuss it, so any speculation is just that. Also re Leila, a nice 80sMom article is at: http://www.momlogic.com/2009/05/adam_lamberts_mom_american_idol.php. (By the way people are writing that they love the Wal-Mart thread! Most industry people don’t have time to go to all the different message boards so this is representative and fun.)

With respect to all the speculation about Rolling Stone and Adam, it sort of wraps into the discussion about press for Adam… I think he’s getting great press and it’s important not to overexpose him right now since there’s nothing really to sell yet. There’s intense media interest in him, and I’d expect every tour interview will want to have time with him so we’ll be hearing about him constantly. Generally publicists prefer to use something major like The Tonight Show when their clients have something to sell… Kris being on some of these programs as the winner makes more sense but I think Adam’s doing just fine. Re Rolling Stone specifically, I think it’s really being overblown but now that TV finales have finished there’s a vacuum of things to talk about… so since people seem to be buying it media will provide it. I’m much more interested in more details about Adam’s vision for his album and his thoughts about the whole experience… his friends are so excited and proud of him and he’s an inspiration for so many Artists that never would have considered auditioning for AI.

Regarding the Voting thread, as mentioned I believe that everyone has the right to pursue the issue and when people asked about having a place to discuss it I had no objection. Because this year’s results are already behind us, my hope is that the discussion is a positive look at having something to suggest to 19/Fremantle for next season. Ultimately, a report with details on the confusion on the AI message boards, the uncertainty of multiple text and VOIP voting, clarification on international voting, etc would be helpful and media worthy.

Tonia’s been so great answering questions and making changes with the site, and your input is welcome and really helpful! I’m so pleased to see all the excellent messages here. Soon, we’ll be posting a blogroll and some links for other sites that may want to invite people here to participate; thank you for inviting your friends to join in because the more opinions and information the more fun it is. We’re also looking into live chat and other features. So thank you again and here’s to Adam!

Best, Michael