1D Day

They’ve only had one hit.

But they’re selling out stadiums.

Yes, One Direction is a boy band, but it’s a different era. Wherein most people have no idea who the band is and they’re making more money than all of their progenitors.

How did this happen?

The Internet.

It’s not supposed to be this way. According to David Byrne and David Lowery and every other musician who earned a royalty in the twentieth century, the Internet has destroyed the music business and a musician just can’t survive, we’ve either got to roll back time or pass a law or just do something or no one will make music anymore.

But that appears to be untrue.

Yes, it’s a boy band. Yes, their work is masterminded by studio geniuses.

But, they’re laughing all the way to the bank. Which matters if you’re worried about money.

Yesterday I went down to the YouTube studios. In Playa Vista. For 1D Day.

I didn’t even know what it was the evening before. And I pay attention.

But that’s the modern paradigm. If you’re not the target audience, you’re completely unaware. In other words, if you’re spending money trying to reach those who don’t care, you’re wasting it. Super-serve those who do and they’ll spread the word for you.

If you’re prepubescent, or barely adolescent, One Direction provide a sexual fantasy. No different from before. It’s just that your parents and their friends don’t have to bitch about what you’re into because they don’t know what it is…until you beg them to buy you tickets for the Rose Bowl.

Yes, that’s where they’re playing. In October 2014.

It wasn’t supposed to last this long!

But it did.

So how do you promote an album in the twenty first century?

If you listen to the usual suspects you go on television. That hardly works, but what channel appears to the 1D demo? Certainly not late night. Maybe Disney and Nickelodeon. But they like to mint and milk their own stars.

No, you go to the Internet. You livestream on YouTube for seven hours.

It was like the early days of MTV.

Only it wasn’t.

In the early days of MTV it was the Mickey Mouse Club with sex and dope and we were all paying attention. They implored us to claim we wanted our MTV and we got it and we all watched it.

Now we all watch nothing. Except maybe the Super Bowl.

Yes, the studio resembled one of those early MTV spaces, it’s just that there were many fewer people watching and even fewer talking about it.

But that doesn’t mean it was insignificant if you’re in the target demo.

Which stretched from Northern Europe to America to Korea to Singapore, with denizens from each of these territories testifying.

And sure, the album comes out Monday, but the goal is to sell tickets.

That’s where the money is. Last time around they sold 2 million albums in the States. They’ll be lucky to do that number this time around. But stadium gigs exceed that gross very rapidly.

In other words, you’ve got to throw out what you once knew and put your thinking cap on.

771,418 people watched at once.

A pittance compared to network TV.

But a number far greater than that which watched the ill-fated YouTube Music Awards, which managed a measly 214k.

Average viewing time? 23:37. For the YouTube Awards? 9 minutes.

In other words, 1D fans are dedicated. And without commercials, you stay tuned in. This is the Internet, you can do ANYTHING!

Go to a live television set and it’s like a military operation. There can be no mistakes. The schedule is tight and the ads must be dropped in.

But 1D Day was riddled with errors, and ran long over. Which was its magic. It was happening on the fly. Which made it fascinating and boring all at the same time.

And there were special guests.

I missed Cindy Crawford, who hasn’t seemed to age since her “House Of Style” days…I saw her on the highlights. What a sentence to make it on your beauty, you’ve got to be frozen in time, inured to the surgeon’s table, to hold on to the one thing that got you an invite to the party.

Speaking of invites to the party…

Oh, to be eighteen and worldwide famous.

The girls!

It’s not that they were dressed up as tarts. Rather, they were outfitted like they were going out on a first date…IN COLLEGE! Barely pubescent, they had boots and tight-fitting skirts…they wanted their best shot with Harry Styles.

Who emitted neither pomposity nor superiority. Just one of the boys. With a Keith Richards headband and a desire to thank everybody involved.

Then again, he just went out for a spin with Kendall Jenner.

How did this happen?

Management is clueless. They think he hooked up through Twitter. So different from the old days when your handlers called mine.

And Simon Cowell was there too. In real life? Not so tall and ultra-skinny. He looked so much like…SIMON COWELL!

But Jerry Springer did have a bulbous nose that I never saw on TV.

It’s like you know these people but you don’t. But the weird thing is it’s the Internet, it’s small not big. Is that the future? Where everybody who’s a star is taken down a notch? That’s one of the problems with doing SNL if you’re a musical act…you end up looking small, whereas the acts of yore were BIG!

And Jerry even gave a FINAL THOUGHT.

But I was most interested in what he got paid.


Just fuel for his plane, which he donated the cost of to Philippines relief.

Jerry Springer has a plane?

So I’m standing there and I just can’t figure it out.

Is this a boy band, one in a string of many, destined to rise and fall like clockwork?

Or is this a new paradigm, where you go to your fans via YouTube and screw everybody else?

And is Google the new outlet, or is there no money in it?

Or all of the foregoing?

All I know is those who are bitching the music business is history are in a box with three locks that they just can’t get out of. Even Sammy Hagar was smart enough to get into tequila.

The truth is we’re in a brand new era, coalescing now, where it’s less about radio and world domination than figuring out who your fans are and speaking directly to them, utilizing the Internet as opposed to traditional media.

On one hand, same as it ever was.

On the other, completely different.

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