“American Idol” has been good for the recording industry. The top-rated contest reality show has also been good to its alumni as well, launching careers in music, Broadway, and movies. But where it’s beneficence is most evident is in record sales. Not only has “American Idol” launched the careers of dozens of artists, but it is good for a sales bump for all who appear on the show, including returning former contestants — like Lee DeWyze and Adam Lambert.
Season 9 winner DeWyze showed up last week for the Top 12 results show to promote his latest single, “Beautiful Like You.” Brian Mansfield at “Idol Chatter” noted that his appearance not only pushed the sales of his album back onto the Billboard 200 (at #96), where it had only spent a disappointing 10 weeks previously, but also increased the sales of the single by over 8,000 percent.
In fact, coming back on “American Idol” to promote a new single or album or, as in the case of Adam Lambert, a then-forthcoming CD/DVD set, also works to prompt album sales. After Season 8 runner-up Lambert appeared to promote his remixed “Aftermath” (where all proceeds have been channeled to the The Trevor Project), he was rewarded by a jump in sales not only of his album, “For Your Entertainment,” but also for his more recent EP offering “Acoustic Live!,” on which appears a live version of “Aftermath.” At the same time, Lambert was able to not only promote the remixed single, but mention the release of his “Glam Nation Live” set, which hit the stores on March 22.
But the show does not only reward the alumni who appear on the popular program. The Black Eyed Peas’ appearance saw the downloads of their latest song, “Can’t Get Enough,” double to nearly 200,000 copies.
“American Idol” also rewards those associated with it, like judge Steven Tyler. His band, Aerosmith, has seen a steady run on its albums since Tyler joined the judges panel. Billboard reported an increase in Aerosmith album sales to the tune of over 250 percent after the season premiere of the show. The single “Dream On,” after auditioner Alyson Jados performed it in February, sold 18,000 units, up 416 percent from the previous week. Lauren Alaina’s audition helped “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” jump to 32,000 units sold, a 369 percent increase.
Songs by other artists performed by the contestants also see rejuvenation. For instance, Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” which was performed by Casey Abrams on the Top 12 performance episode, moved 11,000 copies, up 167 percent over the previous week. Heart’s “Alone,” sung by Jacob Lusk, sold 16,000 units, up 643 percent.
“American Idol” has proved to be a money-making juggernaut for just about anyone who has ever been on the program or been peripherally involved with the show. Jennifer Hudson will also undoubtedly gain a little pre-sale nudge in album sales due to her appearance on the Top 11 results show. Now, if only Mandisa, Phil Stacey, Kellie Pickler, and Jordin Sparks, all of whom have new albums slated for 2011 release, can wrangle a spot on the show…
Brian Mansfield, “‘American Idol’ appearance propels Lee DeWyze back to top 100,” USAToday.com