The build up to this year’s BRIT Awards was all about how shit it would be – thanks mostly to last years particularly insipid ceremony – but it turned out to be just about on the right side of acceptable. It wasn’t what I would class as entertaining – nothing with James Corden presenting could ever be classed as ‘entertaining’ – but it wasn’t mind-numbingly dull, so it was a bit of an improvement.
Part of the reason for the BRIT Awards becoming increasingly dull over the past few years has been the organisers’ insistence to get One Direction there – even making up awards (Global Success Award!?!?) especially for the boy band to make sure that huge audience of teenage girls are not only watching the awards ceremony, but Tweeting about it too.
This tactic may put off grumpy music snobs like me, but we have to remember that One Direction’s audience are hugely influential in the music industry – seeing as they are the only people who actually buy singles anymore – and today’s teenage girl is tomorrow’s MasterCard customer! So going out of their way to engage with that audience is essential for the music industry, and by extension, the BRIT Awards. Which makes their invention of the first Twitter vote for a category One Direction are nominated in a masterstroke of community-building and audience engagement.
Just check out the below stats, courtesy of Way To Blue, for proof:
As you can see, without One Direction heavily involved in proceedings the BRITs would lose out on A LOT of Twitter activity – which, considering corporate sponsors MasterCard were so keen on making sure they were all over Twitter yesterday, wouldn’t have gone down so well with the money men.
So instead of slagging off the BRIT Awards every year, I think its time to accept that the music industry has become much more corporate in the last decade or so – mostly out of necessity to actually earn some money. The entertaining BRITs as we remember them – with rock stars acting stupid and filling the front pages of newspapers with their antics – are well and truly gone. Now, the awards are a sterile, uninspiring corporate lock-out which exists solely to drive sales. Wanting anything more out of it is just naive.
As a parting thought, a recent study I read about today’s teenagers (i.e. the music industry’s target market) are not familiar with the term ‘selling out’ – so to criticise today’s music industry as ‘selling out’ is at best a little naive, at worst it’s downright out of touch.