Hey I just met you and this is crazy, but here’s my number
So call me maybe
No this is not an invitation to call me nor is it a flirtatious line to all of you…
If I’m correct you all immediately know what I’m talking about or even hear the melody to Carly Rae Jepsen’s song ‘Call me maybe’ in your head right now. A catchy song which you couldn’t ignore this summer. Jepsen was number 1 for 9 weeks on U.S. Billboard charts as well as number 1 in many other international charts (http://www.billboard.com/#/song/carly-rae-jepsen/call-me-maybe/28146456).
But before she even became big on the radio, Carly Rae was already a phenomenon on social media, especially YouTube (Sisario, 2012).
The importance of social media for companies is of course well known by now for everyone. Social media can help your ROI (social and/or financial), your reputation etc.
But equally as important or even more so are social media for artists such as musicians and actors. Many Musicians have become famous only through the possibility of social media such as YouTube (Cayari, 2011). Once you can reach people and establish a fan base or even just create a hype, you can be pretty sure you’ll be famous (either on long-term or short-term).
In the top 500 sites of the web YouTube is number 3 in the Alexa ranking (http://www.alexa.com/topsites). No wonder that it can be an influential medium that can help an artist to become a cultural phenomenon in an instant. This however doesn’t mean that this cultural phenomenon will last, it only shows that YouTube can create a help among millions of viewers all over the world (Muir, 2009: 41-43).
With Carly Rae Jepsen the same thing happened. YouTube played a critical role in her fast-growing fame. Not only did her original video get over 286 million views on the channel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWNaR-rxAic). The many covers, lip-syncs, collaborations and live performances also got millions of views, with some of the most famous videos being of Justin Bieber &friends, Katy Perry, the Cookie Monster and even Barack Obama.
Other artists, in this case mainly Justin Bieber ‘played a role in popularizing the song, which reflects the importance of both social media and old-fashioned celebrity promotion’ (Sisario, 2012). Now Carly Rae has a record deal, an album coming out and she’s opening up for Bieber on his tour.
The effects of social media and the possible fame which it can create should not be underestimated, but as Muir said the viral fame shouldn’t be seen as a guarantee to long lasting fame or a long lasting career.
Justin Bieber and Friends: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsBsBU3vn6M
Katy Perry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luR4BnfM9vw
Cookie Monster’s ‘Share it maybe’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qTIGg3I5y8
Barack Obama: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hX1YVzdnpEc
-Sisario, B. 2012. New York Times. The New Rise of a Summer Hit: Tweet It Maybe. Published: August 21, 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/22/business/media/how-call-me-maybe-and-social-media-are-upending-music.html
-Muir, A. 2009. A NEW STAGE FOR MUSIC: YOUTUBE AND THE AMATEUR MUSICIAN. SFU Canada.
-Cayari, C. 2011. International Journal of Education & the Arts. A NEW STAGE FOR MUSIC: YOUTUBE AND THE AMATEUR MUSICIAN. Vol. 12:6. http://www.ijea.org/v12n6/v12n6.pdf.