Eurovision audiences hold labels’ attention


Cantó’s label Warner Music Spain is convinced that Cantó and his song “Voy a Quedarme” (I will stay) will make a big impression when he takes the stage on Saturday in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for the Eurovision Song Contest. . Although songs performed in languages ​​other than English generally score poorly in the competition, Guillermo Gonzalez, President of Warner Music Iberia says the label “aims to open up new markets and take Blas’ music everywhere.” He adds: “This is a great opportunity for him and for us to be successful in other territories.”

As the music industry becomes increasingly globalized through streaming, Warner is not alone in seeking to capitalize on Eurovision’s profile and audience. Among the favorites of this year, the Italian rock band Måneskin, signed with Sony Music Italy, whose Eurovision entry “Zitti e buoni” (Shut up and behave) has recorded more than 20 million combined views on YouTube since March 3. (The group’s official Eurovision Song Contest has 2.5 million views.)

Måneskin is one of five Sony artists entering this year’s competition. Others include the Maltese singer destiny and Australian Montaigne – the only contestant who has not traveled to Rotterdam due to COVID-19 security concerns and who will deliver her performance via a pre-recorded video. Universal Music has 10 artists, including that of France Barbara pravi, Of Germany Jendrik and Congolese-Swedish singer Tusse. Warner is represented by Cantó, Lithuania The Roop and Romanian singer Roxen.

Part of the reason for the increased interest in the music industry is the huge – and consistent – audience for Eurovision. The 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel – the last time the event was held – was broadcast live in 41 countries and watched by a public of 182 million, making it the largest live music event in the world, according to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which hosts the competition.

By comparison, this year’s Grammy Awards drew 9.2 million viewers, down 51% from 2020 and the lowest-rated show since 2006. Only 6.4 million people watched MTV. Video Music Awards 2020, the third lowest rated show in the past seven years. February super bowl, America’s largest television event each year, has drawn 96.4 million viewers and online viewers – a 14-year low.

With a high-profile performance from Madonna, Eurovision 2019 nearly doubled that figure, totaling a 36.7% audience share in 40 European territories, the EBU said.

Then in 2020, Netflix brought Eurovision to a wider American audience by releasing the musical comedy film Eurovision. Song Contest: The Story of the Fire Saga. (It was scheduled to coincide with the song contest, which had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) The film, starring Ferrell and Rachel McAdams, follows two Icelandic singers as they pursue their dream of representing their country at Eurovision Song Contest. He performed well with Eurovision fans and was the most aired item in the United States on Netflix on his first weekend. (The film’s soundtrack debuted at No.5 on BillboardThe soundtrack chart of and one of its tracks, “Husavik,” is an Oscar nominee for Best Original Song.)

The many eyeballs that watch Eurovision offer an unparalleled chance to promote artists like Cantó internationally and build lasting careers, Gonzalez says. “This will be the most important step in his career,” he says.

Since 2016, the United Kingdom, which last won the competition in 1997, has selected its entries for Eurovision Song Contest via a televised singing competition, as have many European nations. It changed tactics after the singer Michael rice finished last in 2019.

Keen to avoid the same humiliation again, UK broadcaster the BBC asked a few labels to come up with ideas for 2020. BMG won the tender process and came up with what they see as an entry. game-changing heavyweight: BRIT Award and Grammy winner – singer-songwriter nominated James newman.

Newman – who wrote credits with Calvin Harris, Kesha, Toni Braxton and Rudimental, and sang the vocals on Armin van Buuren’s 2018 hit “Therapy” – will perform his latest song, “Embers”, in Rotterdam.

“What the BBC asked us to do is come up with something that we can be proud of, that was believable and wouldn’t hurt alongside other British music, and that’s what we have. done ”, declares Alistair Norbury, President of Directory and Marketing at BMG UK “This is the first step in changing the perception [of Eurovision] in the UK and brings us back to where we were when we used to make big entrees. “

Norbury says that before offering Newman to Eurovision, BMG was already planning a career as a solo artist for the singer-songwriter. The competition, according to the label manager, offers a fast track to international markets through television broadcasting and the marketing opportunities that come with it. “I’m looking at the promotion schedule for James and that’s the kind of first-class plan that maybe could come together on your second album, but he gets it on his first single,” says Norbury.

Notable prime-time spots include TV interviews on BBC News and popular UK breakfast shows Hello Great Britain (ITV) and BBC breakfast, as well as the two Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals, broadcast around the world in the days leading up to the final. Newman and Cantó also teamed up for an English version of Cantó’s “Voy a Quedarme”, which was released on May 17th.

This kind of international exposure, coupled with BMG’s commitment to competition, is starting to impact the label and publisher’s roster of artists and songwriters, says Norbury. “We are already seeing people coming out of the carpentry, indicating that they would be interested [next year], “he said.” I think the industry’s appetite will now grow for this. “

One potential stumbling block could be the voting idiosyncrasies of Eurovision, where the winner is determined by a mix of phone votes from viewers and music experts from each of the 39 participating countries. In practice, this tends to mean that countries vote according to their political, military or cultural allies at the time, regardless of the quality of a song or individual performance. Given the tensions between the UK and Europe over Brexit, BMG says it does not anticipate Newman’s victory and would consider finishing in the top half of the scoreboard as a positive result.

As one of the so-called ‘Big Five’ participating countries, Spain will head straight to the grand final on Saturday, where Cantó will perform ‘Voy a Quedarme’, an emotional ballad in the Spanish language co-written by the singer. . Other countries that automatically qualify for the final include UK, France, Germany and Italy. The Netherlands, as hosts and defending champions, also skip qualifying. Competitors will perform in front of an audience of 3,500 inside the Ahoy Arena as part of a COVID-19 event trial by the Dutch government.

“Whatever happens, I am very grateful to be here and to have the opportunity to perform in front of everyone and just to be in something so beautiful,” says Cantó. Billboard.

“What’s important isn’t finishing # 1, it’s the quality of the performance and the quality of the song and the quality of the artist,” says Gonzalez of Warner Music. “Once you’ve been in front of almost 200 million people, that’s probably the best trophy, right?”

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