Category Archives: Music

Like Gang(nam) Busters!

This past Saturday the song “Gangnam Style”, recorded by Korean pop star PSY, has become the most watched video on YouTube, overtaking Justin Bieber’s “Baby” which has long held the title.

The Viral Math

Baby by Justin Bieber 

  • Released in 2010
  • Has 805 million views and 1.4 million likes on YouTube

Gangnam Style by PSY

  • Released in July 2012
  • Has 816 million views and 5.4 million likes on YouTube

Gangnam Style is truly a phenomenon. There is no explaining why it is so incredibly popular. There are a few variables we can deconstruct; one of them is good PR.

Music is the universal language, it doesn’t matter what PSY is singing as long as it has a hook. That, it certainly has. The rhythm of the song may be instinctively K-POP but the visuals of the music video are as American as apple pie: explosions, parody and flashy fashion. Aside from wind tunnels and car explosions everything about this video is easy to copy even the dance moves, which I believe is crucial to its success.

So where does good PR come in? The web 2.0 monsters of YouTube, Twitter and Facebook that still has organizations scratching heads is something the PR world had to adapt to quickly. Getting a Korean pop star, hitting his 6th album to become a sensation in the western world overnight could only happen one way. Reaching an audience on the other side of the world has to be done online. The ease of copying this video and the dance moves make it perfect to put online where others can show their own version making the growth of the original video gain mythical status.

Who is the winner in all of this? It’s Scooter Braun. The manager of both Justin Bieber and PSY.

To see the official Gangnam Style video click here.

And Scooter Braun

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Silly Symphony

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra presented their annual general report last Monday and it showed the previous season operations leaves the TSO short to the tune of $1 million dollars. This deficit is largely due to a star-studded birthday celebration for the symphony’s 90th anniversary.

60% of ticket sales are from subscribers while most of the empty seats are being bought 24 hours prior to an event. Andrew Shaw, president and CEO of the TSO told the Toronto Star,

“We see change going on here when people are purchasing their tickets. This is the internet generation. They tweet, text and make up their minds 24 hours before the concert.”

One million seems like pocket change to raise in the metropolis of Toronto. In wartimes the film industry did well; No matter how bad things got, people wanted to spend on an escape. Has that mentality changed? Is the economy bad enough to make the value of art as escape go down? As far as ticket sales, maybe the TSO should find a way to attract more subscribers or be more vocal online to make those last-minute buyers eager to purchase tickets early. It could be a case of overspending and it’s time to reduce operating costs.

It almost seems too easy to find seven figures for the band. It will be interesting to see how they play this deficit score.

For more on the TSO or to donate click here.