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How to make a number one.

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How to make a number one Achieving the acclaimed number one chart position is a great honour in the music industry. And since music charts began record companies have been willing to try almost any marketing method, however ridiculous, slick or perhaps just devious they may be. In fact marketing has now become so important in getting a record into the single charts or to the acclaimed number one spot, that the chart is increasingly dismissed by some as a measure of an artist's marketing clout rather than the quality of the music produced.1 But how are the marketing departments at the big record labels getting their artists to number one, what are the marketing techniques they are using? Mass marketing of a single release is commonplace these days, but some of most effective marketing campaigns have come from artists being linked to, or even created by a popular television programme, such as Pop Idol. ...read more.


This method meant that a cult fan base of 30,000 bought nearly 90,000 records and sent Iron Maiden to the number one spot. Another tried and tested way to reach number one is to attach a song to a major event, be it Band Aid, Euro 96 or the funeral of Princess Diana, the songs associated with these events pulled massive record sales. This marketing technique follows the lines of associating a song with something of mass interest to the public and getting the song noticed, thus producing record sales. For example Elton John's 'Candle In the Wind', a song widely associated with the death of Princess Diana sold over 33million3 records in the 3 months after her death. Similarly The Lightning Seeds 'Three Lions' sold 12million3 records during Euro 96. This proves the marketing ploy of associating a song with a mass market appealing event means large sales. ...read more.


An instant marketing situation was created with mass media interest in the two bands rivalry. Both records were expected to sell well, and so devious tactics were used to get to the number one spot. Blur successfully used a technique known as format selling, whereby the single is sold cheaply during its first week to maximise sales. This is a regularly used technique to boost sales just enough to reach number one. Almost since the creation of the charts marketing has played a hugely important role in artists reaching number one. It is more than just a few adverts that markets a band, it is mass media attention through whatever means possible. The music charts are a dog eat dog world where only the best marketing departments win and get their artist to number one. 1 "Pop charts celebrate golden jubilee" BBC news Online 14th November 2002 2 "Spice Girl steal the market" NME 27th June 1997 3 Record sales statistics from everyhit.com chart archive ...read more.

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