By Pamela Agboga
It certainly does not pay to be the last to know these days. About two months ago, I got a short clip via blackberry chat from my brother; three guys with their hands crossed hopping up and down, and I asked ‘Is this a new dance step?’ after trying to explain ‘PSY’ Gangnam Style, his last response summed up his feelings about my ignorance: ‘Not the reaction I expected.’ I’m still trying to redeem myself in his eyes.
Korean pop has been rising in popularity in the past few years, in no small part due to the internet and surplus internet friendly gadgets. I was aware of some groups like 4Minute and Big Bang, thanks to a friend who downloaded them, and of course, it was on her laptop I finally saw the actual Gangnam Style video. I liked it.
The single, Gangnam Style, by Park Jae-sang (better known as PSY) was released on July 15, 2012, from his 6th studio album (6th!). Not only is he a music sensation, he’s a rich one. And from him we can learn some important avenues to wealth, and I mean avenues that are a lot faster than the popular networking model.
As of December 9, 2012, the Gangnam Style video has been viewed over 917 million times on YouTube. The highest views come from America, Thailand and South Korea. The ads placed in the video pages generate revenue for the artiste, and of course, YouTube. So far PSY and his agents are up to a share of about $870,000 from the YouTube ads revenue. Developed countries have a higher advert rate than underdeveloped, so PSY is funded by a very healthy market, thanks to the internet, and YouTube.
Not only does PSY earn money on views of his video, he also earns on the views of videos that parody his songs. Google can detect videos that are using copyrighted material. When found, the artistes have the option of having the video removed or can permit the users to keep it up as long as the artist and YouTube share in the ad revenues from the user’s videos. I call that ‘When Piracy Pays.’
CDS AND DOWNLOADS
Tonto Dike set the pace in Nigeria for having the most downloaded song ever. The best part was that these downloads were based on negative reviews. Goes to show that in showbiz, any news is good news, in the long run.
In the US alone Gangnam Style has been downloaded up to 2.9 million times! At the Apple iTunes store, the song sells for $1.29. As usual, PSY gets a percentage from sales on this front as well.
For a country like Nigeria where the CD industry is still booming from demand, there is revenue to be gained from sales, if piracy can be controlled adequately.
When Silverbird TV did a Top10 countdown on the wealthiest Nigerian Actresses, Kate Henshaw- Nutall came tops with a healthy cash flow coming from adverts and product promotions. Being the face of a product is a good thing, even if it is a food seasoning.
PSY has been performing on shows and doing television commercials. While the shows generally cover just the travel costs, the commercials are the main profit source for PSY. PSY has been on comercials for brands such as Samsung Electronics and LG Uplus.
LEVERAGING PRIVATE ENTERPRISE
A lot of new celebrities do not venture into new businesses, or strengthen old ones on the success of the new. With all the years put into becoming an overnight sensation, it becomes easy to rest on one’s laurels and bask in the adulation of the adoring fans.
But business goes on; PSY’s father, uncle and grandmother own a combined 30% of a company whose share price skyrocketed when his album got to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart. Shares were quickly sold off to make his family a load of money. And while the price has fallen again, it still remains double what it was before the hit single.
His agent has also benefitted share- wise; their share price is up 30% since before the release.
So if you are thinking about the new way to make a load of cash, take some pointers from this 34 year old, sixth album overnight sensation; get something newsworthy, and get it as far out to the world as you can! Play your cards right and the developed countries will be paying for your private jet and mansions dotted around the globe. And here’s a shout out to the nice guys who developed the internet and levelled the global playing field. Oppan Gangnam style!