mostly music

How NBC’s The Voice Sold 20 Million Songs – Businessweek

Over the past three and a half years, people have downloaded songs from NBC’s The Voice more than 20 million times. That’s a lot of downloads. So many downloads, in fact, that when Lady Gaga hit the 20 million mark back in 2011 the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced that she was the highest-certified digital artist ever.

It’s surprising that millions of people are downloading Voice songs, and not just because it means they’re paying amateur singers to cover existing songs that have already been recorded much more deftly by other artists. The Voice’s Matthew Schuler has a nice voice and all, but both Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley have all the “Hallelujahs” you’ll ever need. And what’s most surprising about the 20 million milestone is how successful The Voice has been at marketing its music without producing a star.

If you’re not a regular Voice viewer, have you heard of Javier Colon, Jermaine Paul, or Tessanne Chin? No, you haven’t. That’s because The Voice isn’t actually designed to discover a new pop star. The show, which pulls in close to 14 million viewers each week and is currently the most watched reality-TV program, works best as a vehicle for the judges’ careers. Blake Shelton was barely known outside of country music circles when the show made its debut in 2011; this year he brought in $10.3 million from album sales and touring, according to Billboard, putting him on par with the likes of Kanye West and John Mayer. Fellow judge Adam Levine’s band Maroon 5 made more than twice that.

via How NBC’s The Voice Sold 20 Million Songs – Businessweek.

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